Brexit spokesperson describes Johnson plans as 'fantasy'

ireland
Brexit Spokesperson Describes Johnson Plans As 'Fantasy' Brexit Spokesperson Describes Johnson Plans As 'Fantasy'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland.
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James Cox

Fine Gael's Brexit spokesperson says trade talks are being made very difficult by Britian's extreme sovereign stance.

The British government is preparing Royal Navy ships to patrol the UK's waters from January, in the event of a no deal.

A final decision on the future of talks is expected to be made tomorrow.

TD Neale Richmond says Boris Johnson's declaration that he would talk to Europe's leaders to reach a deal is fantasy.

The British prime minister tried to set up phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss a Brexit deal but both of the leaders declined.

This was designed to show a united front as EU negotiator Michel Barnier and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are the people tasked with negotiating with the UK.

Misunderstanding

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Mr Richmond said: “You know, it really misses the point and it's happened many times throughout the Brexit process where there's just a rank misunderstanding on the part of Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers.

“The European Union operates on a very clear basis of rules. Our negotiator is Michel Barnier, the responsibility for negotiating Brexit isn't with the member states, it's with the European Comission and the mandate is very clear.”

Meanwhile, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said the deadline for the end of the Brexit transition period should have been extended due to the global pandemic.

Continued uncertainty would be a retrograde step and the last thing either side needs, he added.

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He told Times Radio: “One of the huge mistakes of this year, in my view, particularly when the pandemic hit, was to insist that the transition period ended on the 31st of the 12th.

“It is a known fact in the history of trade deals that trade deals are prolonged.

“They create division and difficulty and the idea of trying to push a trade deal into a calendar year in the middle of a world pandemic was — to put it at its mildest — not a good idea, and it still isn’t.”

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