Michel Barnier drops hint he might be writing a book on Brexit talks

Michel Barnier, the EU's Brexit negotiator. Photograph: Liam McBurney PA Wire/PA Images

Michel Barnier, the EU's Brexit negotiator. Photograph: Liam McBurney PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has hinted he intends to write a book about Brexit negotiations once the trade talks end.

The French politician hopes the book will shine a light on the 'lessons of Brexit' and the way it was handled.

Speaking at a business conference in Paris on Wednesday, Barnier said: 'I think it would be worthwhile that I tell how I've lived these negotiations in more detail.

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'I don't just want to tell how we've handled the consequences of Brexit, but also why we need to take time to look into the lessons of Brexit.'

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Barnier said he kept meticulous notes during the four years of negotiations and aims to begin writing next year.

During his speech, Barnier also hinted that Brexit trade talks could extend beyond the mid-October deadline that is supposed to give EU member states and Westminster enough time to ratify a deal before the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

'If we want to ensure the ratification of this new treaty at the end of the year, we need an agreement around Oct. 31,' Barnier said. 'The clock is ticking.'

Negotiations on the future economic relationship between the UK and the European Union have been going on for four years. Commenting on another unsuccessful round of talks last week, Barnier warned that negotiations risked going 'backwards'.

He told reporters: 'Too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards

'Given the short time left, what I said in London in July remains true. Today at this stage, an agreement between the UK and the European Union seems unlikely.'

Chief UK negotiator David Frost accused Brussels of making the negotiations 'unnecessarily difficult'.

'We have had useful discussions this week but there has been little progress,' he said in a statement.

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'The EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts.

'This makes it unnecessarily difficult to make progress. There are other significant areas which remain to be resolved and, even where there is a broad understanding between negotiators, there is a lot of detail to work through.'

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