Chief UK negotiator David Frost was quick to react last night - objecting o EU leaders’ tougher-sounding-than-could-have-been formal conclusions to their #Brexit discussion but since when are politicians declarations taken without a pinch or two of salt? /1
EU leaders also play to their domestic gallery. This is the last stage of the trade negotiations. We’re poised ahead of the chapter of Big Compromises. Neither the U.K. nor the EU want to go first. Both want to signal to their home crowd that THEIR interests are being protected/2
Macron is focused on upcoming French presidential elections. His main rival: a nationalist eurosceptic. When he insists publicly about maintaining French fishing rights in UK waters because they didn’t choose #Brexit -his aim is to sound nationalist + show leaving EU is costly /3
Interesting to note that after EU leaders signed off on yesterday’s formal Brexit conclusions, they had a closed-door meeting with no mobile devices allowed. Of course they discussed possible compromises EU could make to reach a deal. We heard as much from Angela Merkel BUT /4
EU diplomats admit they’re trying to put UK under pressure. Are we surprised? The PM will no doubt make a tough-sounding statement of his own today. In negotiations each side naturally wants to get the maximum possible while giving the minimum away. That’s where we are now /5
Last thing EU wants is to add the political, practical and financial headache of no deal with the UK to their current public health and financial crisis provoked by #Covid They assume the PM feels the same way but EU believes he needs this trade deal more and so they squeeze.. /6

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

14 Oct
PM leaves threat of walking away from talks with the EU in the air. Following his call this evening with European Commission and European Council Presidents, his spokesman said the PM had noted the desirability of a deal, but /1
“expressed his disappointment that more progress had not been made over the past two weeks. The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to hearing the outcome of the European Council (this weeks EU leaders summit) /2
and would reflect before setting out the UK’s next steps in the light of his statement of 7 September.” That was the date when the PM said there was no point in talking all autumn and that a deal should be visible by mid October /3
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has briefed Europe Ministers from EU member states that progress continues to be made in negotiations with the UK but not significantly when it comes to key sticking points: level playing field, fish, governance of deal /1
This briefing comes ahead of the EU leaders summit in Brussels end of this week, where Brexit will be discussed most likely I’m told on Friday morning. Both Michel Barnier and the PM once described this summit mid October as cut off point by which time a deal had to be agreed /2
This clearly will not be the case and each side predictably blames the other for that. Today a UK government source said: „The EU have been using the old playbook in which they thought running down the clock would work against the UK“ /3
Read 11 tweets
13 Oct
EU countries are today expected to formally give the green light (sorry!) to a common #COVID19 traffic light system designed to ease travel across the bloc despite rising numbers of infections /1
It’s an attempt by Brussels to avoid unilateral border closures between EU members and the collapse of the Schengen passport free travel area That we saw during the first corona virus wave /2
Under the scheme, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will publish a map (to be updated weekly) that categories EU regions (not whole countries) into green, orange and red zones (or grey, for insufficient data) /3
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Clearly no Brexit trade deal ready by 15 Oct as the PM has wanted BUT talks continue apace. This week in Brussels (Monday to Wednesday) focussing on fish and level playing field (including governance) in particular /1
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will brief Europe Ministers of the 27 member states (or as many of them as attend tomorrow’s General Affairs Council). This ahead of the EU leaders summit in Brussels this Thurs and Friday where #Brexit will be discussed amongst others topics /2
EU expectation is that France will play hardball as it did in Brexit divorce negotiations last year. But France is not only fishing state afraid of losing quotas in UK waters. France also not alone in worrying about what EU sees as ‘fair competition’ rules in exchange /3
Read 8 tweets
8 Oct
While UK side keeps *banging on* about fish fish fish .. the Brussels end of post #Brexit trade negotiations now *harps on* (AND ON) about governance ie need for a robust dispute mechanism with teeth allowing for swift legal action (including suspending chunks of whole deal) /1
EU keener on this than ever in a deal with UK following the government threat to override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement with its internal market bill. EU leaders say they need to justify an eventual deal to their voters. Proof haven’t sold out French/Dutch/German interests /2
In a deal with UK and that if UK businesses suddenly get an unfair competitive advantage bc spending less on environmental regulations or receiving more in state aid, then EU wants to be able to take speedy action via dispute mechanism. /3
Read 15 tweets
7 Oct
Re cal’ today between PM and EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier, a
Downing Street spokesperson said:
« The Prime Minister outlined our clear commitment to trying to reach an agreement, underlining that a deal was better for both sides. » /1
But « He also underlined the UK was prepared to end the transition period on Australia-style terms if an agreement could not be found. » ie no trade deal /2
« Although some progress had been made in recent discussions, they acknowledged that significant areas of difference remain, particularly on fisheries. Chief Negotiators should continue to work intensively in the coming days to try to bridge the gaps. » /3
Read 4 tweets

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