‘Put a tiger in tank’ plea over Brexit talks
BORIS JOHNSON has said it is time to “put a tiger in the tank” of Brexit negotiations after Brussels’ chief negotiator quashed hopes of trade talks beginning next week.
In a significant setback for Theresa May, Michel Barnier said a “disturbing” deadlock over the size of Britain’s exit bill means he cannot recommend moving on from divorce talks to discussions about future trade relations when leaders of the 27 remaining EU states meet in Brussels on October 19.
Brexit Secretary David Davis made clear that the UK will press the other EU leaders to broaden Mr Barnier’s remit, allowing him to begin exploring the nature of a transition to the future UK/ EU relationship before finalising details of the withdrawal agreement.
And the Foreign Secretary said it was time for the EU to show greater urgency in the process which is due to lead to Britain’s departure from the bloc in March 2019. Mr Johnson told a London press conference that Britain wanted to “get on with it to the next phase”, adding: “We are looking for some urgency from our friends and partners and it’s time, I think, to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done.”
Mr Barnier said no great steps forward had been made in four days of divorce negotiations this week. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 closed at a record high last night due in part to the drop in sterling sparked by concerns over a deadlock in Brexit talks. London’s blue chip index rose 0.3 per cent to 7,556.24.
JEREMY CORBYN called for additional discussions with Brussels to be scheduled to end the deadlock in the Brexit talks.
He described the outcome of the latest round of talks as “unacceptable”.
“I think the Government should go back now and start serious negotiations.
“They have been 15 months not reaching any agreement with the EU.”
Mr Corbyn continued: “It seems the Government is incapable of moving this whole thing along.”
The Labour leader confirmed he will travel to Brussels for discussions next week.