This analysis of recent developments was written and posted on Monday, May 18th, 2020
“Fog in the English Channel, Continent Cut Off” may or may not be an actual UK newspaper headline, but could easily sum up the remarks of the UK’s Brexit negotiator, David Frost, last Friday after another round of discussions between the EU and the UK.
“We made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us,” Frost said, adding it was “…hard to understand why the EU insists on an ideological approach which makes it more difficult to reach a mutually beneficial agreement”. Frost’s comments were repeated on a Sunday TV show by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove who said “…there’s a philosophical difference” in the UK-EU negotiations
In reply, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, commented:
“This makes me believe that there is still a real lack of understanding in the United Kingdom about the objective, and sometimes mechanical, consequences of the British choice to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.”