French President Emmanuel Macron put the onus on Britain to make more effort in order to secure a post-Brexit trade deal amid EU summit in Brussels. Speaking to reporters after the summit, Macron said that the United Kingdom needs to make moves since they wanted to leave the European Union. France has been adamant over the UK fishing waters access and has frequently stated its demand.
The 27-member bloc has been demanding access to UK fishing waters but the UK has called it incompatible with Britain’s future status as an independent coastal state. David Frost, an EU adviser to British PM, had said that the UK is fully committed to agreeing to the fishing provisions in line with the Political Declaration but can not agree on a deal that is “unbalanced” and against the interests of the UK fishing industry.
The French president insisted that the country “will not sacrifice” its fishermen but ready to continue to talk in good faith. Macron’s comment was in line with the European Council statement in which they called on the UK to make the necessary moves on the key issues of interest to the EU to make an agreement possible. The European Council called upon the Member States, Union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness and readiness at all levels and for all outcomes, including that of no agreement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that the UK must prepare for the prospect of no post-Brexit free trade agreement with the EU. In a statement from Downing Street, Johnson said that he was making a judgment call as the deadline for the end transition period was only 10 weeks away and the Council meeting failed to come up with promising answers.
“We always knew that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had. And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready,” Johnson said in a statement.
(With PTI inputs)