Former MEP hits out at EU for ‘bizarre’ Brexit demands as Boris Johnson heads to Brussels

Brexit: UK 'entitled to terminate' WAB says Bill Clash

The former MEP was featured on last night’s episode of Newsnight where he was asked whether he favoured a no-deal Brexit. The nightly BBC show came after the Prime Minister and European Commission president agreed to hold in person talks “in the coming days” in an effort to thrash out “significant differences”. The UK’s transition period for leaving the EU will end on January 1, with hopes of an agreement fading as fishing, governance and “level playing field” remain as deal breakers.

Mr Hannan said “it must be better to have a deal with our immediate neighbours”, but questioned the EU’s demands on access to British waters and governance.

He said: “I am just constantly bewildered by hearing that countries somehow trade with each other out of kindness, that having a zero tariffs regime is somehow a favour to somebody else rather than a favour to yourself and your own consumers.

“We are negotiating zero tariff trade deals with Australia and New Zealand at the moment. No-one is suggesting that there needs to be an element of oversight over each other’s regulations in order to do that, and the reason we’re doing is not just that we like the Australians, it’s because it’s good for both of us.

“The EU is not prepared frankly to take that attitude in the way that it does with everyone else.”

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Newsnight host Emily Maitlis then asked Mr Hannan whether the UK needs to trade sovereignty in exchange for a bilateral trade deal with the bloc, which the former MEP rubbished.

He said: “That is emphatically not what we are doing, because after the rejection of the Salzburg terms when we were told ‘Look if you want to leave it’s got to be on the simple Canada type deals’, we only looked at extant deals that the EU has already done.

“With South Korea, with Japan, with Canada. We did not ask for things that went beyond them, and so we’re not asking for anything unprecedented.

“The EU isn’t claiming that we’re asking for something so unusual that it needs to have sovereignty, their argument bizarrely is that they need to have some oversight of our standards because we’re nearby.”

Trade talks between Michel Barnier and Lord David Frost, the EU and UK’s chief negotiators reached a dead end last week,

As a result of the freeze in negotiations, Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen spoke over the phone twice in an effort to agree on trade terms.

Monday saw the pair unable to agree on the “significant differences” over fishing and governance, but Mr Johnson agreed to fly to Brussels in hopes of agreeing a deal face-to-face.

During a pause in the near-two hour phone call, Mr Johnson consulted his advisors, including Lord Frost, who said it would be productive to appear in Belgium for in-person talks.

Owen Jones launches attack on hardline Remainers for Brexit [ATTACK]
Boris shoots down Sturgeon’s Brexit threats as SNP threaten trade talk [REVEAL]
Brexit fisheries warning: EU at risk of losing 80% fish value [INSIGHT]

Mr Barnier however put more pressure on the negotiations after warning trade talks will end this week.

The European negotiator said the new deadline for a Brexit deal is Wednesday during a media briefing with MEPs and EU ambassadors.

He added the talks were “not far from the very endgame”, and both sides need time to ratify any agreement.

A senior EU diplomat said to the Guardian: “The outcome is still uncertain, it can still go both ways.

“The EU is ready to go the extra mile to agree on a fair, sustainable and balanced deal for citizens in the EU and UK.”

The Prime Minister’s spokesman also relayed that “we are clearly in the final stages now”, but added talks will continue to the last minute.

He added: “We’ve been clear … our negotiating team are over there with the aim of reaching an agreement. And that’s what we’ll continue to work on.

“Our team is in Brussels now, continuing to negotiate. Our aim is to reach an FTA and that’s what we’re working towards.”

The spokesman also reiterated Mr Johnson’s promise the country would “continue to prosper” regardless of a trade agreement with the EU.

Source: Read Full Article