Trade talks can’t hap­pen yet, says Merkel ally

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

A key ally of Ger­man chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has warned Theresa May that Brexit trade talks will not get the green light next month.

Ger­man MEP Man­fred We­ber said it “doesn’t look like” the De­cem­ber sum­mit of Euro­pean lead­ers will agree to move on to the next phase of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Mrs May hopes the De­cem­ber 14-15 sum­mit will agree that enough progress has been made on di­vorce is­sues to al­low for trade talks.

But Mr We­ber, pres­i­dent of the cen­tre-right EPP group in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, said “the clock is tick­ing” and the UK had to put for­ward fur­ther pro­pos­als, adding: “In De­cem­ber it doesn’t look like as if we are go­ing to be en­ter­ing into the sec­ond phase.” SNP bud­get de­mands are merely “man­u­fac­tur­ing griev­ance”, ac­cord­ing to a north-east MSP.

Shadow Sec­re­tary for Ru­ral Af­fairs, Peter Chap­man, claimed Drew Hendry’s call to pro­tect £500mil­lion in an­nual EU farm pay­ments had al­ready been guar­an­teed un­til 2022.

Mr Chap­man in­sisted both govern­ments

STICK­ING POINT: An­gela Merkel, whose ally Man­fred We­ber is in­sist­ing the UK must make fur­ther pro­pos­als

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