Coming up on @BBCNewsnight with me - exclusive first UK TV interview with Macron’s Europe minister Clement Beaune responding to No 10 saying talks over & Barnier should not come to London. on fish, state aid, internal market bill, and a “misunderstanding” about Canada ...
So progress made over past week, areas of compromise were starting to open up on state aid/ governance.

But PM’s Oct 15 deadline gambit all about getting EU summit to adapt Barnier mandate - didn’t happen... in that respect it is worth careful look at what minister told me yday:
1. Asked reaction to “talks over” & Barnier shouldn’t travel to London @Cbeaune tells me “still willing to discuss” & “now up to UK to say whether its worth discussing”.. if UK say “we’re ready to do another round of discussion” we “willing and happy”

2. Haven’t you provoked failure of talks by removing word intensively and saying only UK should move...?
@cbeaune: “Unfortunate a draft version was seen as a reference base case” “did not choose to close negotiations... negotiator ready to come to London - a constructive symbol”.
3. “A free trade agreement exactly what we’re discussing, but has to be clearly stated, maybe there’s a misunderstanding -every single trade deal EU has negotiated specific to the country. UK is not Canada.
So Canada not on offer?
@CBeaune “Not exactly..”

4. @CBeaune: “Even the UK is not asking itself for having a copy paste of the EU-Canada agreement... so its a framework fine, but we want some specific things with UK, and so does the UK”
5. Surely not going to allow deal to blow up over state aid which UK hardly uses - worried abt UK billions going into car industry?

“of course - should be deal for years/decades. doesnt depend on platform of specific govt, so need a robust framework”
6. ... @cbeaune: “...If it's not important, if the UK is not intending to use state aid, why is it so important to take your phrase ‘to blow up a deal’ just on the basis of having a mechanism of alignment”
7. Me: “you do want to limit this power [over us state aid]”
“Yes... we are negotiating because UK wants market access to UK, it means you have to find compromises and rules...reconcile two sovereignties...
8. @cbeaune: “ world in which you can have totally free market access, zero tariffs and zero quotas to a partner very close economically and geographically and not follow the rules”
9. Me -you’re bluffing because you need access to our waters, quarter of French catch.. you’re preventing compromise.
Beaune: “we’re stricter than average, but this is EU position..we get it that if there is no deal theres no access to British waters, one reason we prefer a deal”
10. Willing to compromise on current fish quotas?
“Open to discussing everything in the mandate
We know the situation in any case after Jan 1st will not be the same. But you can not say “we care about fisherman, respect our sovereignty” - there’s exactly the same on our side”
11. If it comes to no deal, is France going to be pragmatic on checks in Calais for example to keep trade flowing?

“We have to prepare for fact that there will be difficulties at both our borders, we will have to discuss how to handle them. But we cant minimise what no deal is.”
12. ** “IF there is no deal, and we will know that in a few days or weeks.. its not end of story we’ll have maybe later to discuss a trade agreement or something else. I don’t think everything stops on Jan 1st... I would wish another form of cooperation would be put in place”.
13. “We do respect priorities for UK, including fisheries. But I think we need a political understanding on UK side of what priorities of EU also are. When you strike a deal you combine sovereignties - everyone has to make efforts, demonstrate it, not just political pressure”...
14. Beaune: “Even recently in difficult moments, with the internal markets bill, its a big problem, a breach of the agreement from last year, even in this case we never left the table of negotiations...”
*15. Beaune: “deals need mechanisms to ensure rules respected...Its true that Internal Markets Bill created question of trust between EU & UK - not me or France - it was recognised by British Govt it was a breach. not too late to stop it. But ofc means we need strong mechanisms”

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More from @faisalislam

18 Oct
“The EU effectively ended trade talks last week” - Michael Gove tells Marr “door is ajar if EU changes it’s position - but we are ready to leave on Australian terms”...
Marr: “but could be called Mongolian or Afghan terms”
Gove says he backs promising UK during referendum “we hold all the cards” though he tells Marr “we hold cards”
Marr: “Do you think the public is going to thank you for leaving the EU without any trade deal the middle of a global pandemic?”
Gove: “Public like me would rather we had an FTA but would not thank us if Eu still in control .. ultimately want us to take back control”
Read 7 tweets
15 Oct
Charles Michel EUCO President specifically singles out level playing field and uses example of car industry, and the UK wanting freedom to subsidise (ie state aid) at same time as expecting full tariff free access to single market, says it risks 100,000s of jobs
Barnier - “our positions have been crystal clear from day 1 - if you want access to our market of 450 million, there must be a level playing field” says EU27 remain united and calm
Lord Frost responds as BArnier giving presser:

Read 20 tweets
14 Oct
It was often said privately in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum, at SNP conferences etc, that they’d have to wait until polling got to 60% before a renewed referendum push. This is one poll, but overall trend in polls is clear...

Also might interact with trade negotiations..
Within Cabinet - argument about Union weighing heavy on those leaning for deal...

Even the perception No Trade Deal would create specific additional problems herr for Govt ahead of elections next May, could affect how likely EU side see as UK actually going for “Australia terms”
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
UK push on tariff free electric/ hybrid car trade with non-European battery rejected in EU draft circulated with member states, obtained by BBC.

Essentially some UK car exports to EU will attract tariffs with or without deal from Jan, after rejection of 70% foreign parts ask
UK asked for a transition of vehicles with up to 70% non-European parts (essentially Japanese batteries/ hybrid systems) to be eligible... after specific asks from within UK car sector.

EU draft says 45% from January (ie majority UK & EU)... (same as petrol/diesel)
... EU draft goes further, from 2027, any electric or hybrid would have to have EU or UK battery, to be eligible for tariff free trade..

Clear strategic effort to prevent UK from being offshore assembly hub for Single market for cars with Chinese or SE Asian electric systems
Read 9 tweets
12 Oct
PM up to explain tier system in UK...

Stressing this is not a full national lockdown... but cant accept “intolerable death toll” of letting disease rip damaging NHS.

Can’t shield elderly while letting it rip in younger population.
Very High alert level, closing pubs and bars, but leaving open retail, schools and universities - applies to Liverpool City Region from Wednesday. Gyms, betting shops also to close there.
* tier system England only, not UK.
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
Cabinet ministers sending “urgent message” to businesses about being ready for post Brexit trade changes, deal or not, acknowledging “challenging times” but saying that failing to do so risks business interruptions...…
NEW: Cabinet office/Treasury minister Lord Agnew tells MPs traders “not as ready as should be” and criticised a “head in the sand” attitude to biz preps for new post Brexit customs and regulatory border on January 1st warning them to “wake up” and that “their businesses at stake”
The minister accepted to the Treasury Select Committee that businesses were facing a “quadruple whammy” of Covid/ recession as well as repeated Brexit deadlines...
Read 6 tweets

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