EU’s Barnier says hardest parts of Brexit talks have yet to come
The European Union should brace itself as the most difficult aspects of Brexit negotiations with London have yet to come, the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday (March 20) at a news conference in Brussels.
Besides the key outstanding question of how to avoid a “hard border” on the island of Ireland after Brexit, Barnier said negotiating parties will still have agree on other topics, such as data protection, geographical indications of various goods and mutual recognition of court rulings.
With regard to Gibraltar, Barnier said the British territory located in the Iberian Peninsula is set to leave the bloc at the same time as the rest of the United Kingdom.
Barnier insisted that the EU stands in “clear solidarity” with member state Spain, adding that Madrid would have its say on any accord regarding Gibraltar between Brussels and London.
Barnier’s comments come after the approval by EU affairs ministers of a first set of negotiation guidelines that the bloc’s 27 member governments will use to seek a free trade deal with Britain after Brexit.