Michel Barnier has today yet again slapped down David Davis, this time over the timing of any post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU.
On the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday Davis said the trade deal could be signed “maybe one minute after we leave, or one second after we leave.” However, speaking today, Michel Barnier said when asked about Davis’ comments “he knows perfectly well what is possible and what is not possible.”
Earlier today, Davis had to speak to European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt to clarify his comments about the legal significance of the withdrawal agreement.
Commenting, Stephen Doughty MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“David Davis has already made one humiliating climbdown today and now it looks like it’s time for another.
“The European Union are quite clear that it is a complete fantasy that we will be able to have a fully signed, sealed and delivered trade agreement in March 2019. Ministers have already had to swallow their unrealistic assumptions about the first phase of talks, and they will need to do it again.
“There is simply not the time to get the Government’s unrealistic hoped-for deal – which delivers the exact same benefits we enjoy now – agreed. That’s why negotiating to keep Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union for the long term must be put back at the heart of the negotiations.”