‘Flemish will have a say!’ EU warned more states to follow UK as Brexit shows price of EU

EU leaders have been warned more member states will be inclined to follow the UK out of the bloc as the Brexit negotiations are showing the “price” of Brussels’ elite. https://www.eudebates.tv/debates/special-debates/uk-politics/brexit-barnier-worried-and-disappointed-over-eu-uk-talks/ #eudebates #debates #Barnier #BREXIT #negotiations

The warning comes from Belgian MEP Tom Vandendriessche who told his colleagues in the European Parliament “the Flemish will no doubt have their say” on their membership to the European Union unless negotiations show some flexibility in the Brexit talks.

The Belgian MEP blasted: “Five years on from the UK deciding to take back their freedom no deal has been reached.

“No doubt the result of conscious sabotage to make Brexit as difficult as possible.

“We want to show there is an alternative to this, an alternative to the superstate of the EU.

“If Brexit is a success other countries will no doubt seek to imitate this and that’s what the EU wants to avoid at any cost.

“A positive relationship with the UK is important also for thousands of job in Flanders and we’re paying the price for these campaigns carried out by the European elite.

“We never signed up to that kind of provision and if this goes on, sooner or later, the Flemish will have their say on this too.”

Michel Barnier has insisted that both sides in the post-Brexit trade negotiations must be willing to compromise as efforts continued to restart the stalled process.

The European Union’s chief negotiator insisted an agreement was “within reach” despite being rebuffed in efforts to continue formal discussions this week.

Mr Barnier and his counterpart Lord Frost, Boris Johnson’s Europe adviser, have remained in touch but the negotiations have been in limbo since last week’s European Council summit failed to produce a breakthrough.

The UK Government has insisted that there must be a fundamental change of approach from Brussels, with Mr Barnier demonstrating that the EU will compromise in key areas.

The main stumbling blocks remain fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the “level playing field” aimed at preventing unfair competition, which includes state subsidies.

Time is short to reach an agreement before the end of the transition period on December 31.

Mr Barnier told the European Parliament: “Our door remains open. It will remain open right up until the last day when we can work together.”

But he said “it takes two to make a deal”, adding: “We are not sure that’s the outcome we will obtain and that’s why we need to be ready to deal with the consequences of a possible no-deal scenario.”

Extending an olive branch to the UK, Mr Barnier indicated the EU was willing to make compromises – but only if Mr Johnson also agreed to give ground.

“We will seek the necessary compromises on both sides in order to do our utmost to reach an agreement and we will do so right up until the last day which it’s possible to do so,” he said.

“Our doors will always remain open right up until the very end.”

The EU’s chief negotiator insisted: “Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, an agreement is within reach if both sides are willing to work constructively, if they are willing to compromise.”

But he warned: “Time is running out each and every day”.

Mr Barnier said the level playing field remained a “fundamental concern”. But he added: “The UK are willing to look at this demand, and they’re willing to move forward and shift in their way of looking at this.

“They’re willing to do things in a different way to what exists in current trade deals among other countries.”

On fisheries, Mr Barnier said: “There will not be a trade deal without a fair solution for fishermen on both sides.

“There needs to be mutual access to waters and there needs to be a fair distribution of quotas for fishermen on both sides.”

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