Tag: Michel Barnier

French politics is set to witness return of Michel Barnier
Europe

French politics is set to witness return of Michel Barnier

French politics: EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says he is going to return to French politics in coming weeks

Former European Commissioner and EU’s chief Brexit negotiator is planning to return to French politics. Weeks after the EU and UK agreed on the much-awaited post-Brexit trade deal, Barnier has expressed his intentions to go back to France and take his place in the Les Républicains party. The 69-year-old politician, who had previously served the French government as a Foreign Minister and agriculture fisheries minister, has been a member of the party for over 55 years now.

For the last five years, Barnier has been leading the EU’s team in numerous rounds of negotiations with Britain with the aim of reaching a Brexit trade deal. 

In a recent video interview, Barnier stated that he will go back to his home country in a few weeks to take back his place in French politics. The veteran politician also confirmed that he will not be joining President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist movement La République en Marche (LREM), instead would return to the right-wing Les Republicains. 

“I will try to add my stone to my political family which needs to be rebuilt, and to the French political debate,” he told French radio. 

However, he chose not to answer a question related to speculations that he is looking to challenge Macron in the 2022 presidential elections. 

With France’s presidential elections less than two years away, President Macron’s popularity has suffered a substantial downfall in recent months. Amid this development, he is seeking re-election in 2022 after his LREM defeated Les Républicains in the 2017 presidential polls. Notably, the main center-right party of the European nation, Les Républicains, has been in chaos in the absence of a prominent leader. 

After years of working on Brexit, Barnier is all set to retire from the European Commission on January 31. However, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen can reportedly ask him to stay back to carry out parliamentary ratification of the Brexit deal, noting that MEPs are yet to approve the trade agreement in the coming weeks. Ursula von der Leyen and Barnier have not yet discussed when the final ratification can take place.

Meanwhile, EU and UK negotiators concluded the long-running talks and agreed on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 24. With a trade deal in place, Britain left the single market and customs union of the EU on December 31.

Brexit deal enters decisive phase, no certainty visible on cards
Europe

Brexit deal enters decisive phase, no certainty visible on cards

Brexit deal enters decisive phase: With just 36 days left in termination of UK’s transition period, the pressure started mounting on both the sides to finalise a deal. Despite the pressure, things didn’t seem to be moving towards finalisation and what followed was the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier threat to David Frost that he might pull out of the Brexit negotiations. Barnier told his counterpart that unless UK changed its approach in the ongoing negotiations in the next 48 hours, there might be a no deal between two sides. 

Barnier pointed out that it was pointless to take negotiations further unless Britain was was ready to agree and compromise on the key outstanding issues. Most of the legalities were complete but what was left was consensus over three key issues – fishing, standards and domestic subsidies, and dispute resolution.

Britain has been pushing for annual negotiation for allowing fishing in its territorial waters, and also proposed a “zonal attachment” system which divides fish species between the two sides as per to where the fish reside rather than the current division on the basis of fixed fishing patterns. Where as EU has been fighting against both annual negotiations and zonal attachment for it wants an amount of ‘certainty’ for its fishing community. 

Besides, both the sides have been struggling with how to decide on the future course of their relationship, for they both agreed on the need to “uphold the common high standards at the end of the transition period in the areas of state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and relevant tax matters”. But the matter is still hanging as the two have not found a common ground on how to define their current common high standards.

Brexiters have been wishing for a special trade and security deal with EU but all they believe EU has been offering is a regular trade deal wherein latter has more advantage over the former. Despite all the difference, what EU-Britain needs the most is a common resolution system to decide their disputes.

On Wednesday, while giving a speech in the European Parliament, the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU was open to be “creative” in order to get a deal with the UK but emphasised that an agreement was difficult with “very little time ahead of us”. Barnier would be heading for London on Friday for the last round of negotiations with the UK. 

With regarding to the deal entering its last leg, EU president said, “These are decisive days for negotiations with the United Kingdom. But, frankly, I cannot tell you today if in the end, there will be a deal.”

“We will do all in our power to reach an agreement. We’re ready to be creative,” she said. “But we are not ready to put into question the integrity of the single market, the main safeguard for European prosperity and wealth.”

Von der Leyen said legal texts on judicial and social security coordination, trade in goods and services and transport were almost finalised. “However, there’s still three issues that can make the difference between a deal and no deal,” she added. 

Brexit deal on verge of being finalised as deadline nears
Europe

Brexit deal on verge of being finalised as deadline nears

Brexit deal: EU and UK negotiators have finalised a possible Brexit deal with talks on key issues still underway

EU and UK negotiators have indicated that a trade and security agreement is close to being finalised after marathon talks over a Brexit deal. As per media reports, both sides have managed to reach a breakthrough by finalising as much as 95 percent of the EU-UK free trade deal. After the Coronavirus pandemic 

However, the risk of a no-deal Brexit is still looming upon the two sides as negotiations on some key issues are not showing necessary progress. Amid the prevailing Coronavirus scare, much of the negotiations are being conducted virtually.

Reportedly, Ilze Juhansone, senior-most official of the European Commission, has told Brussels representatives that talks on the majority of the 11 key negotiation issues are progressing with few points remaining for discussion.

Addressing a news briefing on Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed the progress made during this week’s talks even after the Coronavirus pandemic halted the process. She further added that there are still some metres to the finish line since a lot of work is still left to do in the deal. 

“Within the frame of the level playing field, progress, for example, has been made on the question of state aid, but there are still quite some metres to the finish line so there’s still a lot of work to do,” she said. 

As per a Daily Express report, some progress has also been made on the contentious issue of EU’s access to UK fishing waters and a mechanism to prevent distortion of trading through undercutting standards. However, Downing Street is standing its ground, insisting Brussels to change its stance in the debate over fishing rights and state aid in a bid to deal the deal. At the same time, Brussels has also informed that the progress is going slowly to reach a deal before the year end when the transition period will come to an end. It will also slow down the ratification process of a potential agreement and can lead to extending the negotiations to December. 

It is also likely that all member states not be able scrutinise the 600-page document or even translate the treaty into all 24 official languages of the bloc. France has called for a discussion on legal aspects of the deal to approve the document.

Due to these concerns, EU officials are reportedly working on emergency steps to approve a Brexit trade deal that will be acceptable to both sides. Meanwhile, chief negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord Frost are expected to carry on with the negotiations in the coming days in a bid to draw a conclusive agreement. 

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Outputs From EU Coastal Nations
Europe

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Outputs From EU Coastal Nations

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Output: Michel Barnier is all in favour of a middle ground between the EU nations and Britain over fishing deals. However, the British PM is not happy with the 15percent of the total worth of fish that the fishermen catch. Mr. Boris Johnson has deemed the chief negotiator for Brussel’s deal as ‘not enough’ for the EU nations to make use of British waters for fishing. 

A joint meeting was conducted last week between Barnier and fisheries ministers from the coastal EU countries. These comprised Ireland, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France and Sweden. It was decided that European nations would have to play a fair game if they wanted access to the British waters for their fishery trade to work smoothly. 

The agreed upon share of £90million is not seeming as an impressive share to Johnson.  According to Barnier’s official statement, EU would catch as much as €650million worth of fish from the British waters. According to the British negotiator David Frost, UK insists that the quota of share should be decided depending on where the fish stock originate. 

Anything more than the 15% would mean a sizable chunk to be shared by the coastal countries. According to analysts, EU member-states will try to do some burden sharing amongst themselves so not one single member-states takes all the pain of the quota loss. 

But the loss might be inevitable as Britain is not willing to accept Barnier’s terms laid out. The latter had been asked to ensure that he does his part of the deal; to ensure yield source is open to the coastal countries for them to be able to maintain their business as usual. France is being headstrong about the quota and the fact that Britain is showing its upper hand. However, the consensus in the EU is that Britain will get its say and probably its way through, and the coastal countries will have to figure a way out to move ahead.

EU, UK fail to reach Brexit breakthrough amid intense talks
Europe

EU, UK fail to reach Brexit breakthrough amid intense talks

Even after intensified negotiations between EU and UK, a Brexit breakthrough is still not in sight.

While trade talks have intensified between Britain and European Union negotiators in Brussels in recent days, a breakthrough in the Brexit deal is still not in sight. As per media reports, the EU and Britain have failed to reach an agreement on some of the most persistent points in the negotiations even after weeks of intensive talks in London. From differences over fisheries and protecting trillions of dollars of the trade from disruption to ensuring fair competition and settling disputes at all fronts, both sides are yet to set basic governance structure to proceed with the trade deal.

“There is some progress being made, but it’s far from concluded yet,” said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney signaling that time may run out to strike a deal.

Recently, Brussels negotiators dismissed reports claiming that an agreement has been reached between the two sides on the fishing industry, with European officials confirming that the central issue is still open for talks. Brussels has also asserted that no future Brexit trade deal can be agreed upon with the United Kingdom if there is no deal on fishing.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement treaty signed by the UK and the EU in January, Northern Ireland will remain within the ambit of the EU customs union and will follow the bloc’s rules for its agricultural and manufactured goods. This decision was taken to maintain peace between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and to keep the border between the two sides open.

Noting that the clock is ticking, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost are engaged in talks to finalize a trade deal such that it can be ratified by the end of this year.

The World Reviews

The World Reviews provides latest world news and brief stories. To know more news about world follow us.

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

The World Reviews

Copyright © 2021 The World Reviews. All rights reserved.