Spanish foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has called for the UK to end its ‘posturing’ in Brexit talks and return to serious negotiations.
The Spanish minister said the UK had to realise it would have to pay a price if it wanted to continue enjoying the benefits of access to the internal market.
Arancha Gonzalez Laya’s comments came after Boris Johnson’s lead negotiator David Frost launched an attack on the EU’s ‘perplexing’ position, claiming it would seek to impose ‘novel and unbalanced’ conditions on the UK.
Laya said it was time to ‘stop posturing, stop sending letters’ and begin a ‘real negotiation’.
But she also said the EU had to show compromise too.
Have your say
Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think both sides have to show flexibility, it’s not as if this was a one-way street.
‘There is clearly a desire on the British side to continue to enjoy the benefits of belonging to the European internal market, very certainly, and that has to come with a price because Britain will no longer be a member of the European Union.
‘You can’t be out and still enjoy the benefits as if you were in. On the European Union side, there are a number of things that are important to the European Union – fishing is one of them.
‘What we need to see happening now is a real negotiation and no posturing, it’s too late for this.
‘What we need to see now is a mutually beneficial negotiation with a good win-win outcome that takes care of the interests of Britain, but also takes care of the European interests.’
The comments came after Boris Johnson’s lead negotiator David Frost launched an attack on the EU’s ‘perplexing’ position, claiming it would seek to impose ‘novel and unbalanced’ conditions on the UK.
In his letter on Tuesday Frost said Brussels’ proposed deal ‘contains novel and unbalanced proposals which would bind this country to EU law or standards’.
‘What is on offer is not a fair free trade relationship between close economic partners, but a relatively low-quality trade agreement coming with unprecedented EU oversight of our laws and institutions,’ he said.
But Laya said: ‘The most important thing now is to stop posturing, stop sending letters, to stop sending emails, sit down and negotiate – that’s what we need to see now.
‘And again it has to be clear that when you’re not a member of the European Union, you can’t enjoy the same benefits as if you were a member of the European Union.’