His gloom-laden non-public breakfast briefing to EU ambassadors in Brussels appeared calculated to stoke fears of a no-deal consequence — and sterling dipped by 1.15 per cent towards the euro inside minutes. An EU diplomat mentioned: “We’re on the make-it-or-break-it second.”
EU politicians sought to unnerve the British aspect with warnings of extreme financial disruption from January 1, when the transition interval expires.
“Everyone knows the nation that suffers probably the most in a no-deal state of affairs. It’s not Eire, it’s not one of many EU member states, it’s the UK,” mentioned Irish MP Neale Richmond, a member of Leo Varadkar’s High-quality Gael get together.
French MP Bruno Bonnell, a member of Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! get together, mentioned Britain could possibly be out within the chilly. “It’s like a divorce: You don’t keep in the identical home, you don’t use the identical gadgets,” he mentioned.
- Talks restarted this morning after Mr Barnier’s briefing, with the concentrate on “stage enjoying area” guidelines and fishing rights, the thorniest issues. “No important progress” was made in a single day, UK sources mentioned.
- Cupboard Workplace minister Michael Gove dashed over to Brussels for talks with the EU vice-president in what appeared like an try to dealer a well past the roadblock. His officers insisted it was a deliberate assembly solely regarding the Irish border difficulty.
- Irish international minister Simon Coveney mentioned negotiations “appeared stalled” He instructed Irish radio station RTE: “Having heard from Michel Barnier this morning, actually the information could be very downbeat. I’d say he’s very gloomy, and clearly very cautious in regards to the skill to make progress in the present day.”
- British minister James Cleverly mentioned the Authorities would reinsert clauses that break worldwide legislation into the Inside Markets Invoice this afternoon. The clauses, which overwrite the Withdrawal Settlement, had been eliminated by the Home of Lords final month.
Mr Coveney mentioned experiences of a fishing breakthrough had been “completely not the case” and the excellent points had been “very problematic”.
An EU diplomat mentioned: “Barnier and Frost negotiated intensively… and made some progress however haven’t fairly managed to bridge variations. There was no decisive progress, although some progress has been made.”
The EU needs “strong and enforceable” guidelines to guard its single market from unfair competitors, which Britain fears would tie the UK to EU guidelines eternally. The EU additionally needs “secure entry to UK waters” for its fishing trawlers, which Britain sees as making a gift of sovereignty.
Nevertheless, British MPs mentioned it was typical EU negotiating techniques to attempt to put the squeeze on by elevating last-minute fears of a breakdown in talks.
Mr Cleverly tried to calm nerves by saying a no-deal Brexit wouldn’t be “Armageddon” and that commerce may proceed “completely nicely” on World Commerce Organisation phrases.
Sounding extra upbeat than UK officers in Brussels, he mentioned a commerce deal was “almost there” however that negotiators may miss the December 31 deadline to get it handed.
He instructed Radio 4’s In the present day programme: “The overwhelming majority of the weather of this settlement have been resolved and we’re now hanging on a small variety of necessary areas the place we don’t have settlement. We’re almost there however we’re not fairly there but.
“And it might be that we won’t be able to resolve this within the timescale we’ve received, however we’re almost there.”