Home / World

Brexit blame game turns into another predictable stalemate

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-02 08:18

BRUSSELS - Amid the blame game between the European Union and the United Kingdom, the third round of Brexit talks concluded on Thursday without decisive progress, as expected.

The UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis left for Washington on Friday, insisting he was determined to be optimistic about Britain's departure from the EU.

However, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier told a joint news conference that decisive progress on the key issues had yet to made.

"Over the course of this week we have made a number of useful clarification on a number of points, for instance, the status of border workers. However, we did not get any decisive progress on any of the principle subjects," said Barnier.

Brexit blame game turns into another predictable stalemate

"We made real progress on the question of the Common Travel Area, on the basis of guarantees by the United Kingdom, and we clarified, in a constructive manner, what remains to be done, particularly with regards to North-South cooperation in the Good Friday Agreement.

Barnier stressed that time is passing quickly for the two sides to reach an agreement.

"At the current speed, we are far from being able to recommend to the European Council that there has been sufficient progress in order to start discussions on the future relationship, while we are finalizing the withdrawal agreement throughout 2018," he said.

Unlike Barnier's pessimism, Davis believed that the two sides have had long and detailed discussions across multiple areas this week and "I think it is fair to say, that we have seen some concrete progress" especially on citizens' rights, he said.

Both sides have agreed to protect the rights of frontier workers, to cover future social security contributions for those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and protect existing healthcare rights and arrangements for EU27 citizens in Britain and British nationals in the EU, among others, said Davis.

"And we have had further discussions on the governance of the citizens' rights agreement - and the wider withdrawal agreement. We have shown a willingness to discuss creative solutions in this area and now is the time for the Commission to match it," he said.

Davis, who will address the US Chamber of Commerce during his Washington visit, added: "I am a determined optimist. I fundamentally believe that a good deal is in the interests of both the UK and the EU and the whole of the developed world."

Saying the EU respects Britain's decision to leave the single market and customs union, Barnier warned that the "EU's capacity to regulate, to supervise, to enforce our laws, must not and will not be undermined by Brexit".

"The European Council guidelines state that the union will preserve its autonomy of decision-making. The UK wants to take back control, it wants to adopt its own standards and regulations. But it also wants to have these standards recognized automatically in the EU. That is what UK papers ask for," Barnier said, calling this "simply impossible".


(China Daily 09/02/2017 page14)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349