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Brexit: UK and EU will “Tear” During Talks, Predicts France

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned that he will face a tough battle with the European Union in its efforts to reach a trade deal in the aftermath of Brexit.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian made the prediction at the Munich security conference as the two sides prepare to start negotiations on Britain’s future relations with the bloc.
Drian warned Johnson that Brussels will defend its interests at the official opening of talks next month, saying: “I think on trade issues and the mechanism of future relations, on which we will start, we’re going to tear each other apart.”
“But this is part of the negotiations, everyone will defend their own interests”.
UK chief negotiator David Frost should make it clear that Johnson will give up talks with the EU unless he gives up what he calls his “ridiculous and unreasonable” demands.
Frost is reportedly traveling to Brussels on Monday to deposit his opening bet, following a meeting of his 40-person negotiating team last week.
Mr. Drian is a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, and is one of the last great European voices to speak of the difficult road to follow for the United Kingdom.
Fisheries will be high on the agenda during trade negotiations and Macron believes EU fleets must retain access to UK waters, which should be a key demand in the negotiations.
However, Johnson said the UK would take control of its fishing waters, acting as an “independent coastal state” once the Brexit transition period is over.
EU sent repeated warnings to UK ahead of talks, saying it should not expect “high quality” market access if it demands to move away from social norms and environmental aspects of the block.
The new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told the European Parliament this week that Johnson should accept a “level playing field” on rules and standards.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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