A FRENCH MEP has urged UK politicians to stop making the European Union out to be the enemy.
In a TV interview, Nathalie Loiseau, previously her country’s minister for European affairs, said both sides owe it to citizens to “build a strong partnership for our future”.
And, appearing on Sky News, she called on her UK counterparts to change their language on Brexit, saying: “We are partners, we are not meant to be adversaries.
“I would like to see UK politicians refraining from using rhetoric or a vocabulary as if we were adversaries fighting against each other.
“We are struggling to build a strong partnership for our future. This is what we owe to our fellow citizens on both sides.”
Loiseau was appearing on Sophy Ridge on Sunday and said she was “neither optimistic or pessimistic” about the chances of a trade deal before the transition period ends on December 31.
She said: “We will do everything we can to get a good deal, whether it is possible under this time pressure, honestly I don’t know. I will not tell you we are nearly there because there are still big divergences.”
Loiseau continued: “We are offering an unprecedented partnership with the UK, but this comes with clarity and commitments, and so far they are missing.”
Her comments came as the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Paul Johnson, said that “even the best deal we could get would have been counted as one of the hardest imaginable Brexits three or four years ago”.
He told The Andrew Marr Show: “Especially in the context of coronavirus, there’s just such uncertainty about what the impact is going to be, and particularly the short-term impact.”
Boris Johnson refused to seek an extension to the transition period, despite calls from opposition parties and from business and civil organisations. He’s insisted the UK will thrive whether a trade agreement is struck with the 27-member bloc or not.
Appearing on the same programme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would be “preferable” to have a deal, but the UK should not be going for a Brexit deal “at any price”.
He stated: “I think we’re making progress in the talks and I remain hopeful that we can reach resolution.
“I think we’re being entirely reasonable with our requests and have been consistent and transparent through this process about what’s important to us. But we will prosper in any eventuality.”
He went on: “In the short-term specifically, and most immediately, it would be preferable to have a deal because it would ease things in the short-term. I think the most important impact on our economy next year is not going to be from that, it’s because of coronavirus.”
Sunak stated: “We should not be going for a deal at any price, that would be the wrong thing to do and I think there are things that are important to us in these negotiations, and we’ve been entirely, as I said, reasonable, consistent and transparent.”