Michel Barnier told UK will not compromise in Brexit talks as threat of no deal looms
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The UK will not “sign up to a Brexit deal that is to our detriment”, Gavin Williamson has warned. The Education Secretary had been informing Sky News about the “good progress” being made in the negotiations between Britain and the EU. With less than a month to go before the transition period deadline, fears are rising that both sides are cutting things a little too close.
Mr Williamson assured: “We always expect negotiations to go up to the wire.
“It’s a very typical sort of situation when you’re having a negotiation with the European Union.
“But the fact that negotiations continue to go, I’m confident from what I hear that good progress is being made.
“We’re going to do a deal that’s right for Britain if such a deal is available.”
He added: “But if such a deal isn’t available then we’re not going to sign up to something that’s to our detriment.”
Face-to-face Brexit talks resumed again with EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier arriving this week in London.
Confidential diplomatic notes suggest that EU officials think a Brexit deal is 95 percent agreed.
However they remain concerned that talks could break down before the end of the transition period in December.
The key issues still to be agreed include fishing rights, competition rules and how a deal should be policed.
One fishing access, the EU would give back up to 18 percent of its current catch, but Britain wants 80 percent at least.
On competition, the issue comes in on rules to prevent unfairness on things like subsidies.
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The EU has also expressed nervousness on governance should either side fail to stick to what was agreed.
Just before the talks began again, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We want to know what remedies are available in case one side will deviate in the future.
“Because trust is good, but law is better.”
The transition period is due to end on December 31, placing pressure on negotiators to secure a deal in time.
There are also concerns that there may not be enough time to ratify the agreement.
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