Emmanuel Macron told he's making a 'massive miscalculation' that UK will negotiate next year
Emmanuel Macron - CHARLES PLATIAU / POOL / AFP via Getty Images
Emmanuel Macron has been accused of risking a no-deal Brexit by making the "massive misjudgment" that Britain will be forced back to the negotiating table in the New Year.
Downing Street believes Mr Macron stands in the way of a deal because he plays in front of his home audience ahead of the election in 18 months.
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A deadline of 11 p.m. on Sunday evening set by MEPs for an agreement to be agreed so that it could be ratified by December 31 should pass without the talks being concluded.
The UK has announced that it will not end negotiations while there is still time to reach an agreement.
The negotiators believe Mr Macron is betting on the theory that no deal in the UK will be so unpopular that Boris Johnson will give in and accept Brussels' current offer within weeks of leaving the single market and customs union on January 1st becomes.
But senior government sources have dismissed the idea as a "fantasy", insisting that it "doesn't make sense" to turn down a deal now only to accept it weeks later.
A source said: "If we go without a deal, there will inevitably be criticism of the government, even though the Prime Minister has made it clear that either way we will prosper.
“Why on earth would we go through this when we wanted to go back to Brussels a few weeks later and accept a deal that we have already turned down?
"If Emmanuel Macron thinks this will happen, he has made a massive misjudgment."
British sources made it clear again on Sunday that an agreement can only be reached if the EU's position "changes significantly".
The issues of fishing rights and the level playing field remain the two main differences, and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said the bloc “remains committed to a fair, reciprocal and balanced deal. We respect the sovereignty of Great Britain. And we expect the same ”.
A UK government source said: “Unfortunately, the EU is still struggling to get the flexibility it needs from Member States and making demands that are incompatible with our independence.
"We cannot accept a deal where we are not in control of our own laws or waters."
The European Commission's latest offer for fish provides for 25 percent of its quota to be returned with a transition period of six years. The UK has offered a three year transition and wants 60 percent of the quotas returned.
If an agreement is reached before December 31st, it can be applied provisionally, which does not require a vote in the European Parliament. The MPs would have to confirm the agreement in the new year with a vote.
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