“There will be no commitment, agreement, with the United Kingdom to the detriment of the European Union and the single market. This single market is a complete ecosystem of social, environmental, industrial rights with a common jurisdiction, supervision and regulation. We are not going to sacrifice the future for the present “, the EU chief negotiator for the Brexi, Michel barnier, on French radio France Inter on the eve of the start this Tuesday in the British capital of the eighth round of negotiations. A round that comes preceded by much uncertainty and worrying news about the possible intention of London to deny some part of the divorce agreement negotiated and signed.
According to him Financial Times, the government of Boris Johnson plans to adopt a new law that would nullify key parts of the divorce agreement in such important areas as state aid, customs control and the protocol on North Ireland, designed to avoid the return of a hard border to the island. “I trust that the British Government will implement the withdrawal agreement. It is an obligation under international law and a prerequisite for any future association,” the President of the European Commission has warned. Ursula von der Leyen, throught social media. “The protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland is essential to protect peace and stability on the island and the integrity of the single market,” he added in line with the tone and message released this Monday by the EU negotiator, Michel barnier.
“All goods that will arrive from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will enter France and the single market (& mldr;) It is a precondition for trust between us. Anything that has been signed in the past has to be respected”, he has settled the French politician before a possible new legislation that, according to the FT, could dynamite some talks that enter this week in a key week. “What matters to me is what the Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) and the British Government say and do,” Barnier insisted, recalling the paramount importance of the Irish protocol for the maintenance of the peace accords on the island, avoiding the return from a hard border to the island and maintain the integrity of the internal market.
The substantive issue that, given that Northern Ireland – provided there is agreement – will remain de facto part of this internal market from 2021, will be subject to the rules on European state aid, which means that the British Government will not be able to subsidize companies in the territory to avoid distortions of competition with companies from the south of the island and the rest of the EU to maintain a fair playing field -level playing field-.
Worry in Brussels
The concern in Brussels is evident. “It is not the last round” but “I am worried”, has admitted the French negotiator who insists that “the British want the best of both worlds: to export their products to a European market of 450 million consumers under their conditions and we we want those conditions to be fair. ” In case of lack of agreement, however, the French politician has recalled that the obvious will happen: that the rules of the World Trade Organization and that, therefore, commercial exchanges between both blocks will be subject to quotas and tariffs.
Barnier, who was seen last week with his counterpart David Frost in London, it has denied an information published last Friday by the newspaper Telegraph according to which, the European leaders of the 27 will take up the negotiation to unblock the talks and will put aside the experienced French politician. “For four years I have received attacks from the tabloids. These people do not know how we work. It does not impress me,” he has limited himself to pointing out, reiterating that he does not negotiate on his behalf, but on the 27’s, and that he continues to be the depositary of his trust.