The European Commission has dismissed the claims that were made by Liam Fox that its “intransigence” is responsible for making a ‘no-deal’ Brexit the most possible result of the Brexit negotiations.
The commission has asserted that it is working around the clock – including the period over the summer holidays – in order to reach a deal following the criticism of the international trade secretary of its approach to the discussions/
Fox said that there is currently a 60-40 possibility of a cliff-edge exit from the European Union. He blamed the negative response to the Chequers plan from Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator of the European Union.
In an interview with the Sunday Time, he stated: “I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal.”
He added: “We have set out the basis in which a deal can happen but if the EU decides that the theological obsession of the unelected is to take priority over the economic wellbeing of the people of Europe then it’s a bureaucrats’ Brexit, not a people’s Brexit – then there is only going to be one outcome.”
The commission made an exception to its policy of refusing to issue a response to the comments that were made by politicians in its member states in order to strike back.
Mina Andreeva, its deputy chief spokesperson, disclosed a pre-prepared answer when asked regarding the comments by journalists at the daily press conference of the commisison in Brussels.
She stated: “We are working constructively day and night to reach a deal with the UK and this is also reflected in the fact that the next negotiating round is scheduled for the 16th and 17th of August.”
She added: “The chief negotiator is engaging constructively, as he has always been by the way, based on the negotiating position agreed by the 27-member states.”
The European Commission emphasised the fact that the discussions are continuing over the summer. It says that it shows its commitment to achieving a deal.
Recently, a European diplomat joked that the people who signed up to work for the Brexit taskforce of the commission were starting to regret their decision.
Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, is not anticipated to be present during the forthcoming round of Brexit talks in Brussels, with the technical discussions being left to the Olly Robbins, the Brexit advisor of the prime minister.
Andreeva stated: “To my understanding it will be at officials level, but it shall be followed very soon also at political level because as you know we are working 24/7, day and night for a deal.”
On the other hand, the spokesperson of PM Theresa May said that the Prime Minister did not agree with the assessment of Fox that a cliff-edge Brexit is currently odds-on.
He stated: “We continue to believe that a deal is the most likely outcome because reaching a good deal is not only in the interests of the UK, it is in the interests of the EU and its 27 members.”