Q: Brexit: Is it absolutely crucial to resolve the details of a future agreement between the EU and the UK before the European Council on December 10-11?
A: We are in a decisive phase of the negotiations on the future of our partnership with the United Kingdom.
Time is of the essence, because EU law will cease to apply to the UK on December 31, the transition period’s end date. There is therefore very little time left to reach an agreement allowing us to define the terms of the future relationship between the EU and the UK on commercial matters and in many other areas, such as security and access for our fishermen.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier is in London this week for very intense discussions with the British. But the outcome of the negotiations remains uncertain, and it is impossible to say in advance what the situation will be at the next meeting of EU Heads of State and Government. The EU has made the gestures needed to reach a compromise. It is up to the British to make sufficient moves in order to achieve an agreement on the main deadlocked issues, first and foremost fishing and the conditions of fair competition.
We are hoping for an agreement with the British, but we will not compromise on our demands, because France – like all its European partners – wants an agreement that respects the principles of the EU and our interests, those of our businesses and those of our citizens.