There seems to be little to report on Brexit, which is not at all good given how little negotiating runway remains. The Independent and the Financial Times said that Michel Barnier wouldn’t come to London for the Friday session unless the UK showed some movement in its positions. Per the pink paper:
An EU official said Mr Barnier had told his UK counterpart David Frost this week that there was little point in the EU side making the trip to the UK capital if there was no sign of movement in the talks.
Tony Connelly of RTE reported that Barnier had a video conference set for Friday with the eight fishing countries, which at a minimum means even if he went to London, he’d need to break for this confab.
Nevertheless, the EU has always made a point of being willing to talk, so having Barnier remain in Brussels but dispatching the rest of his team would send a message…..as if one needed to be sent. The EU has been broadcasting the same message from the very morning after the Brexit vote, that if the UK wanted access to the Single Market, it would have to subscribe to the Four Freedoms, which the UK rejected. The UK has repeatedly demonstrated appalling ignorance of trade deals, such as saying it wanted a Canada-style deal and acting as if it was tariff-free and contained no “level playing field” provisions. In fact, it contains both. Similarly, the agreement the UK just sealed with Japan contains provisions restricting state aid…yet the