Britain must respect the EU’s “independence” and accept that the bloc has its own red lines in trade talks, its chief negotiator has warned.
Michel Barnier was speaking in Brussels, where he warned that “very, very difficult” differences were emerging between both sides with the clock ticking down.
”Let’s avoid any misunderstandings: the UK has spent a lot of time this week insisting on its independence, nobody contests the UK’s independence.”
”We also ask the UK to respect our own independence,” Mr Barnier said.
“Of course, we respect the UK’s sovereignty, and just as the UK sets its own conditions for opening up its market, the EU sets its own conditions for opening up its markets for goods and services.
The real question is not about our reciprocal independence: the real question is what we do with our respective independence.
“Our common challenge now is as two independent entities to agree together on ground rules that makes it possible for us to cooperate, to trade and to travel.”