On Friday, sterling rose by 0.89 percent against the euro after the chief Brexit negotiator of the European Union sounded positive notes regarding the possibility of the United Kingdom being able to secure a Brexit deal.
Michel Barnier said that there were some positive elements on the Chequers plan of Prime Minister Theresa May. Previously, Brexiteers had dismissed the plan as “dead in the water” as a transcript of his discussions with the Brexit committee of the United Kingdom was released today.
The pound rose from 1.11 to the euro to 1.12 and from 1.29 to 1.30 against the US dollar.
Barnier slammed the proposal of the Chequers plan for a single rulebook for trade in goods, and a facilitated customs arrangement that would see the imports charged UK tariffs, then the EU tax once they went onto the continent.
He stated: “When it comes to those two proposals, there is a real problem of substance for us because they would weaken and would lead to the unravelling of the single market.”
However, Barnier said that the other elements could serve as the foundations of a new relationship between the EU and the UK.
He stated: “There in the white paper, you seem to be suggesting a kind of à la carte single market, a kind of cherry-picking approach, and we do not agree.”
He added: “But other than that, the other elements are something that we can work on. We could work on those to work towards an unprecedented partnership.”
The EU negotiator said that it was still too early to talk about the terms of a future relationship between the two nations, however, he said: “we are almost in a position to be able to start drafting the political declaration” that would help those discussions.
Barnier also implied that there could be some flexibility regarding the Irish border.
He said that the EU and the UK are able to “de-dramatise this backstop by describing what it will mean on the ground, having a kind of set of checks that are technical and operational and that would be applied unless and until there is an agreement on the future relationship that would finally settle all these issues.”
He stated: “We are ready to simplify these checks, to have them carried out at a number of different places and have checks, thanks to technical means, which could take different forms.”
He added: “But that effort to de-dramatise the situation should be made by both sides, which is why I say Ireland remains the crucial issue if we are to get an agreement, but if there is no operational backstop on Ireland, there will not be an agreement.”