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Jeremy Hunt: EU must change its approach to avoid no-deal Brexit Jeremy Hunt: EU must change its approach to avoid no-deal Brexit
(30 days later)
Jeremy Hunt has called on the EU to change its approach on Brexit, and said the risk of failing to reach a deal has risen in recent weeks.Jeremy Hunt has called on the EU to change its approach on Brexit, and said the risk of failing to reach a deal has risen in recent weeks.
The British foreign secretary was speaking at the start of three-day tour of continental Europe aimed at persuading member states to back Theresa May’s Brexit plan.The British foreign secretary was speaking at the start of three-day tour of continental Europe aimed at persuading member states to back Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
“I think the risk of a no Brexit deal has been increasing recently,” Hunt told journalists in Helsinki. “But it’s not what anyone wants and I hope very much that we’ll find a way to avoid that.”“I think the risk of a no Brexit deal has been increasing recently,” Hunt told journalists in Helsinki. “But it’s not what anyone wants and I hope very much that we’ll find a way to avoid that.”
He added: “We do need to see a change in approach by the European commission.”He added: “We do need to see a change in approach by the European commission.”
Companies in Brexit 'supply shock' as fewer EU citizens come to UKCompanies in Brexit 'supply shock' as fewer EU citizens come to UK
Hunt, who became foreign secretary last month after Boris Johnson resigned in protest at May’s plan, is also due to meet counterparts in Latvia, Denmark and the Netherlands. While the countries have been strong UK allies, none has budged from the EU’s common position on Brexit.Hunt, who became foreign secretary last month after Boris Johnson resigned in protest at May’s plan, is also due to meet counterparts in Latvia, Denmark and the Netherlands. While the countries have been strong UK allies, none has budged from the EU’s common position on Brexit.
Over the summer the prime minister has sent senior ministers on trips across the continent in an attempt to persuade governments of her plan while circumventing the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.Over the summer the prime minister has sent senior ministers on trips across the continent in an attempt to persuade governments of her plan while circumventing the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Last month David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, went to Paris, while the home secretary, Sajid Javid, was in Portugal, and the business secretary, Greg Clark, took the government’s no-deal warning to Rome. May has been to Austria, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, while Hunt went to Berlin.Last month David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, went to Paris, while the home secretary, Sajid Javid, was in Portugal, and the business secretary, Greg Clark, took the government’s no-deal warning to Rome. May has been to Austria, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, while Hunt went to Berlin.
So far the government’s attempt to go over the head of Barnier, whose mandate has been agreed by the EU’s 27 leaders, has not yielded visible results.So far the government’s attempt to go over the head of Barnier, whose mandate has been agreed by the EU’s 27 leaders, has not yielded visible results.
Negotiations are due to resume on Thursday in Brussels after a three-week gap. Senior officials will attempt to make progress on the problem of the Irish border and will discuss the future relationship between Britain and the bloc. Barnier and the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, are not expected to be present.Negotiations are due to resume on Thursday in Brussels after a three-week gap. Senior officials will attempt to make progress on the problem of the Irish border and will discuss the future relationship between Britain and the bloc. Barnier and the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, are not expected to be present.
Hunt’s warning came after Barnier’s deputy, Sabine Weyand, tweeted on Monday there was “no guarantee we will succeed” and called on business “to prepare for a disorderly Brexit”.Hunt’s warning came after Barnier’s deputy, Sabine Weyand, tweeted on Monday there was “no guarantee we will succeed” and called on business “to prepare for a disorderly Brexit”.
?Recommended reading - while we as EU negotiators will do our best to reach agreement on an orderly withdrawal incl. a transition, there is no guarantee we will succeed. So business needs to prepare for a disorderly #Brexit https://t.co/mgrGFS9nYZ?Recommended reading - while we as EU negotiators will do our best to reach agreement on an orderly withdrawal incl. a transition, there is no guarantee we will succeed. So business needs to prepare for a disorderly #Brexit https://t.co/mgrGFS9nYZ
Both sides say they want a deal on the Brexit divorce settlement to be concluded by the autumn. While 80% of the treaty text has been agreed, the two remain far apart on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.Both sides say they want a deal on the Brexit divorce settlement to be concluded by the autumn. While 80% of the treaty text has been agreed, the two remain far apart on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
To resolve the border issue, the EU wants a guaranteed fallback that would keep Northern Ireland subject to the EU customs union and many single market rules. This “backstop” would fall into place should the two sides be unable to agree a new trading relationship. But the UK has said no government could ever accept a de-facto border in the Irish Sea.To resolve the border issue, the EU wants a guaranteed fallback that would keep Northern Ireland subject to the EU customs union and many single market rules. This “backstop” would fall into place should the two sides be unable to agree a new trading relationship. But the UK has said no government could ever accept a de-facto border in the Irish Sea.
While Britain is looking for more flexibility from Barnier, there is no sign of a change in the EU’s basic position. Barnier has said he wants to “de-dramatise” the Irish border question, but the EU regards the UK’s alternative plan as unacceptable.While Britain is looking for more flexibility from Barnier, there is no sign of a change in the EU’s basic position. Barnier has said he wants to “de-dramatise” the Irish border question, but the EU regards the UK’s alternative plan as unacceptable.
BrexitBrexit
European UnionEuropean Union
EuropeEurope
Foreign policyForeign policy
Jeremy HuntJeremy Hunt
ConservativesConservatives
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