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‘Good riddance Albion?’ European media asks whether no-deal is nigh
Among reactions to Brexit negotiations in the European press, the consensus is that the talks are heading towards a no-deal and not everyone appears unhappy about it. “Albion débarras?”, heads French Left-leaning daily Libération, which translates as “Good riddance Albion?” With the two sides still “very far apart”, Libération wonders whether the EU’s contingency measures in case of no-deal are evidence of “precaution (or pessimism?). “Europe dragged towards a no-deal,” leads Le Figaro in its piece, pointing out that the bookmakers are now clearly betting on this outcome, “an unmistakable sign” that talks are unlikely to succeed. “In Brussels, pessimism is gaining ground too,” warns the conservative French daily. The paper cites a source “close to the negotiations” as saying the three-hour Brussels dinner between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen was “cordial and clear” and while nothing was resolved, it had the merit of “identifying the ‘sticking points’ and ‘those that are less so’”. While the Prime Minister was clearly now directly engaged, the source said he remained “very hazy as to which direction he intends to take”. The EU, it writes, does not want to waste any more time over talks and there is unlikely to be movement before the weekend. “It’s not a question of time. The treaty is on the table. It is almost complete and is 700 pages long, including annexes. It is the political issues that need to be resolved,” it cites a European source as saying. “The ball is pretty much in the British court, where signs of any softening are tenuous,” writes Le Figaro, whose European source says: “On fair competition rules, the most important issue for the future, it’s clear that the gap is more ideological than practical, which narrows the chances of bridging it.” The paper says it is unlikely that Boris will give ground on the “anniversary of his crushing electoral victory” based on “getting Brexit done” and “taking back control”.
Published at Fri, 11 Dec 2020 14:40:30 +0000