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U.K. Surprised, Disappointed With EU Summit Stance on Brexit

epa08688061 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs Downing Street to make a statement in the House of Commons in London, Britain, 22 September 2020. Due to rising cases of coronavirus all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England must have a 22:00 closing time from 24 September 2020. Further coronavirus restrictions and measures will be set out by the prime minister in the House of Commons on 22 September 2020. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

The U.K.’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, said he’s “surprised” and “disappointed” by the European Union’s stance at summit talks in Brussels.

EU leaders reiterated calls for Britain to make further concessions in order to reach a deal on their future relationship, increasing pressure on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he thinks about whether to walk away.

“Surprised EU is no longer committed to working “intensively” to reach a future partnership,” Frost said in a Tweet. “Also surprised by suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from U.K. It’s an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation.” He said Johnson will respond himself on Friday.

The U.K. has been calling on the EU to agree to round-the-clock negotiations to push through an agreement within the next two weeks and is arguing that it’s for the bloc to compromise. Johnson has said he’ll quit the talks unless he gets clarity at this week’s summit that a deal can be done.

“I can’t say as we stand here that we’ll necessarily get a deal — we have prospects of a deal,” EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters after meeting with EU leaders, adding that as far as he’s concerned talks will continue in London next week and Brussels the week after. “We shall remain available until the last possible day — the negotiations aren’t over.”

While the U.K. thinks it has gone as far as it can, and wants the EU to compromise, leaders from the bloc insisted that the onus is on the British government. They want the EU and U.K. to “continue negotiations in the coming weeks” and called on the U.K. to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible,” according to the summit communique.

That stops short of the intensification of talks that the U.K. is demanding.

Johnson will assess the mood of the EU based on signals from leaders and the content of their discussion, according to a person familiar with the U.K. position who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Geoff Krige says:

    Under Boris Johnson the UK has voted against deals negotiated with the EU by Theresa May. They have reneged on agreements negotiated by Boris Johnson himself, they openly have voted in parliament to contravene international law. Now they are surprised that the EU is not cooperating? Wow!

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