Macron: 'not sure' a UK-EU trade deal can be reached by deadline
French President has cast doubt that the UK will strike a trade deal with the EU by the 31 December deadline
Iran Press/Europe: The French president Emmanuel Macron predicted the talks would be “very tough” as he tried to reassure his country’s farming and fishing industries.
“It’s going to be tense,” he added during a visit to a farm show in Paris. “I am not sure that we will have a global deal by the end of the year.”
Negotiations will begin between Brussels and the UK next month, with issues such as financial services regulation, fishing rights and tariffs set to be at the fore of discussions.
It comes after the French foreign minister warned that Britain and the EU would “rip each other apart” during the negotiations, which are due to begin on 2 March.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants a Canada-style deal, which removes most tariffs on goods traded between the two countries.
“The UK has made clear a number of times, and will reiterate, its desire for a Canada-style deal,” Downing Street said in a statement. However, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said Britain cannot have that deal unless it agrees to abide by the bloc’s regulations.
Boris Johnson stated that he holds a card in his hand and it is fishing and with that, he will try to gain access to the market; meanwhile, the French president said he would seek compensation for French fishermen for any losses suffered.
The United Kingdom officially departed the European Union after more than three years of political wrangling and as a result, Brexit finally happed and ended its 47-year membership amid hopes and fears for the future.