Macron 'using Brexit talks to boost standing in France'




  • In World
  • 2020-10-17 20:14:35Z
  • By External Contributor
Macron \
Macron \'using Brexit talks to boost standing in France\'  

Emmanuel Macron is using the post-Brexit trade talks to shore up his domestic standing in France, UK sources have claimed, as they labelled talks with the EU "performance art".

British sources said the French president was prioritising concerns about his political future over agreeing a free trade agreement with the UK, as he came under pressure from Marine Le Pen, the far-Right leader.

Ministers privately claim that it could take "years" for the UK to return to the negotiating table if the current transition period ends without a trade agreement on Jan 1.

Senior Tories have warned EU leaders not to expect to reopen talks next spring - by which point they believe the UK could already have experienced the worst effects of ending the transition period without a deal.

On Friday, Boris Johnson accused European leaders of having "abandoned the idea of a free trade deal" and told the country to "get ready" for a no-deal outcome in the negotiations after his Oct 15 deadline for reaching an agreement passed.

Senior Brexiteers praised the move, with John Redwood, the former trade secretary, claiming: "The UK will prosper more with no deal than with a bad deal."

Lord Frost, the UK's chief negotiator, told his counterpart, Michel Barnier, to call off a planned trip to London for talks this week, after EU leaders issued a joint summit statement calling on the UK to offer compromises on several areas, including fishing rights in UK waters.

UK sources claim that fishing - a totemic issue for British and French coastal communities - has become a significant stumbling block because Mr Macron is using the talks to shore up his domestic position.

Britain has separately repeatedly called on the EU to begin negotiations over draft legal texts, and claims Brussels is refusing to do so because EU leaders want to "bounce" British negotiators into accepting pre-prepared texts.

A source close to the talks said "We couldn't continue with a negotiation that was more like performance art than real engagement.

That is why we told Michel Barnier that there is no point in him coming to London this week unless there is a fundamental change of approach from the EU.

Most observers would find it incredible at this point that, thanks to EU manoeuvring, there is literally no agreed treaty text of any kind in place. This must change. If it does, we are always ready to listen."

A Government source added: "Instead of engaging in a meaningful negotiation, the EU seemed to think they could run down the clock to force the UK to make concessions ... If they did think that, they have made a major misjudgement about this Government compared to its predecessors."

COMMENTS

More Related News

France announces new national coronavirus lockdown
France announces new national coronavirus lockdown
  • World
  • 2020-10-28 20:42:00Z

France is returning to a nationwide lockdown amid rising coronavirus infections, President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday.The restrictions, which are set to kick in at midnight Thursday and will last until mid-December with period reviews before then, are similar to the country's previous lockdown this spring - people will only be able to leave their home for work purposes if remote work is not feasible, buy essential goods, seek medical attention, and exercise for one hour a day. Unlike the earlier iteration, however, schools and nurseries will remain open for the most part. Funerals and visits to care homes will be allowed, as well.Several European countries are experiencing a...

France to enact second lockdown to put brakes on COVID-19 surge
France to enact second lockdown to put brakes on COVID-19 surge
  • US
  • 2020-10-28 19:18:34Z

France will go back into a nationwide lockdown starting this week to try to contain the COVID-19 epidemic that is again threatening to spiral out of control, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation on Wednesday. Restaurants, cafes and shops not selling essential goods will have to close down for at least the next two weeks, Macron said. In addition to France, Germany announced sweeping nationwide restrictions on Wednesday.

Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge
Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge
  • World
  • 2020-10-28 15:41:29Z

Germany on Wednesday moved to shut down restaurants, bars and theaters all over again and France weighed demands for another nationwide lockdown as a new wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and the U.S. wipes out months of progress against the scourge on two continents. "We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as she announced a four-week partial lockdown starting Monday. French President Emmanuel Macron planned an address Wednesday night as many French doctors urged a nationwide lockdown, with 58% of the country's intensive care units now occupied by COVID-19 patients.

France braces for possible lockdown as virus deaths mount
France braces for possible lockdown as virus deaths mount

France is bracing for a potential new lockdown as the president prepares a televised address Wednesday aimed at stopping a fast-rising tide of virus patients filling French hospitals and a growing daily death toll. French markets opened lower on expectations that President Emmanuel Macron will announce some kind of lockdown Wednesday, though the government has not released details amid ongoing discussions about what measures would be most effective. Many French doctors are urging a new nationwide lockdown, noting that 58% of the country's intensive care units are now occupied by COVID patients and medical staff are under increasing strain.

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
  • US
  • 2020-10-28 06:23:21Z

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being put under pressure for a new lockdown with the government working on the assumption the second wave of coronavirus will be more deadly than the first, the Telegraph newspaper reported. * President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address on Wednesday evening, while BFM TV reported the government has been exploring bringing in a national lockdown from midnight on Thursday. * Nearly half a million people have contracted COVID-19 in the United States over the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as new cases and hospitalizations set records in the Midwest.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World