Brexit: Barnier backtracks on British trade deal after pressure from EU states

Citizens' rights: Reciprocal protection for EU citizens in the UK and Britons living in the remaining 27 member-states who are resident at the time of the UK's withdrawal, along with their family members. Photo via the european .co.uk

The Express — Michel Barnier backtracked on his tough talk under reported pressure from EU member states and agreed Britain will be offered a “tailor-made” trade deal with the EU.

The EU’s  chief negotiator made the conciliatory remarks on Wednesday  after he was slapped down by officials representing the EU27 over his insistence that the UK will not get an agreement on financial services.
Mr Barnier has repeatedly spoken about how the only option available to Britain is a Canada-style free trade deal because of Theresa May’s red lines over free movement and the ECJ.But member states and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker have reportedly become increasingly exasperated with the Frenchman’s public remarks on trade which overstep his current mandate.

An EU official said of his remarks: “It is too early to draw conclusions on how the future relationship will look like. This will need to be discussed during the talks.”Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today, Mr Barnier also dodged questions about his role in negotiating the shelved TTIP agreement with the United States which included an ambitious chapter on financial services.

Asked why the EU could not offer a similar deal to the UK, the Frenchman simply pointed to the fact that there are no EU trade deals currently in force with such access for services.

He said: “Logically for the economic side of our partnership we’ll be working on the basis of an FTA along the same lines as what we negotiated and signed recently with Canada, also South Korea, and Japan more recently.The UK Government is apparently planning for a significant improvement on the deal the EU struck with Canada – a much smaller trading partner for the bloc – including better services provision.