BRITAIN’S chief Brexit negotiator has accused the EU of trying to keep control of the UK with its trade deal demands.
David Frost said Brussels is still “coming to terms” with the fact the UK wants a clean break and will not bow to its hardline stance.
His remarks came as his EU counterpart Michel Barnier wrote to Remainer MPs offering a two-year extension of the transition.
In a letter to the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens, Mr Barnier said: “We remain open on this matter.”
But his deputy, Paulina Dejmek-Hack, said Eurocrats had accepted the PM is serious and there will be no further delay.
Appearing before MPs, Mr Frost said the talks are only “a week or two” behind where they would have been if the coronavirus crisis had not struck.
He expressed belief that his opposite number knows the EU’s position on fishing is not “completely realistic”.
But he warned a deal on access to waters is unlikely to be reached before the target date of July 1 because the two sides are still far apart.
And he said the bloc’s “level playing field” demands, which would tie Britain to EU standards, were making it “quite difficult to find a way through”.
He told Mr Barnier to “assess reality in the cold light of day” if he wants to reach a deal.
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Mr Frost said: “It’s the job of a good negotiator, and he is one, to assess reality, the positions of the other side, and the genuine ability to move.”
Mr Barnier has repeatedly insisted that he is not trying to restrict British sovereignty but the EU needs guarantees on common standards.
The PM is now set for a major showdown with the bloc’s leaders next month over the state of the negotiations.
Bailouts bid fear
BRUSSELS boss Ursula von der Leyen is seeking powers to bankroll a £670billion Covid bailout.
Eurocrats would tax firms directly, such as green levies on airlines.
They’d borrow money on the markets to hand to struggling countries.
And £450billion will be non-refundable grants.
Von der Leyen said the moves would be temporary but some fear it could pave the way for a federal Europe.
She said: “The crisis can’t be fixed by any country alone. This is Europe’s moment.”
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