As the term Brexit approaches, France warns against “bad concessions” to Britain

As talks on Brexit between Britain and the European Union shrink, with an end-of-year deadline approaching to secure a free trade agreement, France hits the brakes – warning EU negotiators not to press the ticked clock. .

“We should not submit to Europeans under the pressure of time to finish by this time or day. Otherwise we would be in a situation of making bad concessions,” said French European Minister Clement Beaune. , for the BFM network, in the observations reported by The Associated Press.


The United Kingdom officially left the EU in January, after voting to leave in 2016. This departure triggered a transitional period that lasts until the year, to allow the two sides to conclude a free trade agreement.

But talks have been hampered as well as hampered by the global pandemic. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warned the British not to prepare for any agreement – which could lead to port disruptions, freight tariffs and potential shortages across the country.

Johnson himself was involved in the talks, heading to Brussels this month for talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which have continued by telephone ever since.

Britain has pushed back against some terms, including EU fishing rights in UK waters, which it considers violate its sovereignty – one of the main issues of the 2016 vote. But the EU is just as cautious about Britain in to avoid cumbersome EU regulations in areas such as the environment and to gain a competitive advantage.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, Monday, December 21, 2020. (Tolga Akmen / Pool via AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, Monday, December 21, 2020. (Tolga Akmen / Pool via AP)

“It is vital that everyone understands that the UK needs to be able to control its own laws completely and also that we can control our own fishing activities,” Johnson said recently.

Exacerbation in recent days is the new strain of coronavirus discovered in the UK, which has quickly led to travel restrictions by European countries. France closed its border for 48 hours, causing chaos to truck drivers in the British port of Dover.

The negotiators sought to make progress on fishing rights in British waters and other competition issues, again making a possible deal.


However, according to Reuters, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said at a closed-door meeting that the UK’s latest offer to fish in British waters in 2021 was “totally unacceptable”.

Reuters reported that EU negotiators are ready to reduce the value of its fish catches in British waters by about 25%, but the UK wanted a 30-35% reduction. In the meantime, the UK wants to limit access to the EU for a period of three years, while the EU wants a six-year period.

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Beaune, the French minister, also said that the rules of fair competition are still a sticking point, even though the Associated Press reported that other EU officials said they were close to an agreement. He added that the British must comply with EU rules for any such agreement.

“Well, if the British come to our market, they can follow our rules. It’s basic economic justice,” Beaune said. “We will not give in to pressure over time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.