Boris Johnson ‘frustrating’ EU with bold Brexit tactic – ‘EU irritation growing’

The Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Anand Menon, argued the EU continues to get more frustrated with Boris Johnson and the UK. While speaking to Reuters Institute, Mr Menon claimed Mr Johnson was ignoring the EU’s priorities in post-Brexit trade talks. Mr Menon used the fisheries as an example of the EU’s top priority and insisted the Prime Minister’s stance was frustrating the bloc.

He added the EU believes the UK is not taking negotiations seriously and isn’t focussing on the obligations set out in the initial withdrawal agreement.

Mr Menon said: “Coronavirus is affecting things but I think the main thing that is affecting how we are seen by the European Union at the moment is our approach to the post-Brexit trade negotiations.

“I cannot stress enough how irritated the European Union is getting with the way Britain is approaching the negotiations.”

Mr Menon noted the key annoyances felt by the European Union during the trade talks with the UK.

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He said: “Firstly because the EU thinks we are not approaching the talks seriously.

“That is to say they believe the Government is not acting as if it wants an agreement by December.

“Because if the Government was it would address the EU’s priorities.

“These are things like fisheries but the UK has simply ignored them.

“The second thing is we are bound by the withdrawal agreement we have signed off to put in place the measures necessary to implement the Northern Ireland protocol.

“This would involve checks on goods going between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and we are very behind schedule on that.

“There are people in Brussels saying that the British are negotiating in bad faith.

“This is because they are not taking their obligations seriously and there is a growing sense of irritation on the EU’s side.


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The UK and EU are expected to have another round of post-Brexit trade negotiations next week by video conference call. 

During the coronavirus briefing on Friday, Environment Secretary George Eustice insisted that coronavirus would not cause a delay to Brexit progress. 

He insisted that the UK had already left the European Union and the UK would be leaving the current transition period on time at the end of the year. 

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