Streeting – Tusk’s comments can’t hide lack of progress in Brexit talks

Commenting on Donald Tusk’s announcement that the EU will begin internal preparations for trade talks with the UK, Wes Streeting MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“The fact the EU is preparing internally for trade talks with the UK is of course welcome, but it does not deserve the outpouring of triumphalism we have seen from Ministers and Brextremists. It would be astonishing if such preparations were not taking place. 

“The fact is, we are no closer to a deal on first phase issues. In fact, President Macron says we are not even halfway to completing talks on Ireland, citizens’ rights and the financial settlement. Internal preparations mean nothing unless the talks can progress to a stage where trade and our future relationship can actually be negotiated.

“The clock is ticking, and the Government has spectacularly failed to move the talks on by the original October deadline. This Council summit has done little to arrest the countdown to a hard and destructive Brexit that will damage our trade with Europe and put jobs at risk.”