PARIS — Europe won’t give in to pressure from the U.K. to rush the Brexit talks, French Secretary of State for Europe Amélie de Montchalin said today.
“We won’t give in to this kind of time pressure, this final sprint that the British want to impose on us hoping it will push us to give in,” de Montchalin told Europe 1, adding that she sees the balance of power still firmly in Brussels’ favor.
“Those who need a deal the most are the British. They cannot withstand a second shock after the epidemic, they won’t have access to the safety net of Europe, or the recovery fund,” de Montchalin said, referring to the economic crisis the coronavirus epidemic is expected to cause.
De Montchalin also said she cannot rule out a no-deal Brexit. “We don’t want to make a deal just to make a deal, but rather we want a balanced deal,” she said.
On Thursday, while meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in London, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “underlined that the U.K. does not believe it makes sense for there to be prolonged negotiations into the autumn,” according to a Downing Street spokesperson.
A deal needs to be ratified before the end of the Brexit transition period in December to avoid the U.K. and EU falling back on World Trade Organization terms.
Talks have already been scheduled for July and August, with sessions ramping up to every week over the summer. Discussions this month ended with both sides agreeing they need to inject “new momentum” into the stalled discussions.
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