Brussels will not be intimidated by a Brexit blame game, says Barnier

PUBLISHED: 14:15 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:16 08 June 2018

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

$image.copyright

Brussels will not be "intimidated" by Britons who try to blame the EU for their inability to secure the Brexit deal they want, chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said.

Mr Barnier was speaking as he said that Theresa May's proposals for a backstop customs arrangement in Northern Ireland raise a series of "difficult" questions.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Barnier said it was not necessarily "feasible" to extend the EU's offer of continued participation in key elements of the customs union in Northern Ireland to cover the whole of the UK, as the Prime Minister's proposal suggests.

And he said Mrs May's insistence that the arrangement must be time-limited meant that it could not be regarded as a true backstop, providing a fallback option if the UK's preferred permanent solution could not be agreed.

"Backstop means backstop," he said. "The temporary backstop is not in line with what we want or what Ireland and Northern Ireland want and need."

Mr Barnier said it appeared that some Brexit supporters wanted to offload on to Brussels the blame for the fact that the UK cannot continue to enjoy some of the benefits of EU membership after leaving.

But he said: "We are not going to be intimidated by this form of blame game."

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Find out more

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of the meaningful vote. Here is a list of the events organised across the UK in the coming weeks.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy