Posted on Apr 30, 2020
EU lead negotiator Michel Barnier has claimed “vast differences” remain between the two sides, amid reports that the European Commission is now resuming its contingency planning for Britain to leave the union without an agreement on December 31st.
According to Britain's Daily Express, senior members of the European Parliament’s UK Coordination Group believe Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings are set on a no-deal.
“It has been a while since I came to the conclusion that no deal is what the prime minister and Cummings actually want,” one MEP is reported to have told Barnier. “If you read their team’s attitude in the negotiations, it seems to fit that assumption quite well.”
In recent weeks it has become apparent that the EU team is unprepared for any deal, and has found numerous reasons, including the coronavirus pandemic, to call for an extension beyond the existing deadline. The UK however, at least according to cabinet minister Michael Gove, will be ready to publish its own position within a matter of weeks.
UK rejects EU proposal for "mini-embassy" in Belfast.
The EU suffered a blow in its planning for its future relationship with the UK when the British government rejected the idea of an EU presence in Belfast after the end of the transition in order to oversee the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol.
In a letter to Barnier, Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt stated that the UK "cannot agree" to the proposal.
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