Brussels throws out Britain's Brexit blueprint & urges EU nations to remain 'cold blooded' as deadline looms

MICHEL Barnier has knocked back Britain's new blueprint for a trade deal and urged EU capitals to remain "cold blooded" as the Brexit deadline looms.

Brussels negotiators have told other EU states that the draft text for an free trade agreement tabled by the UK last week is "unrealistic" and not a basis for discussion.


Mr Barnier's team told diplomats the latest British plan only puts our "offensive interests" and doesn't address the bloc's core concerns.

It covers trade in goods and services but doesn't contain any proposals on the so-called Level Playing Field or how to settle disputes between Britain and the EU after we leave.

They said the UK's "clear strategy" will be to "trade off" fishing access for freedom from EU rules at the last minute.

British officials had expressed hopes the new text would "inject a bit of spark" into the stalled talks.

But EU sources said the UK "seems to be negotiating on game theory rather than substance".

One warned: "As long as Member State priorities are not catered for, the Commission doesn’t consider a drafting exercise based on this text helpful."

Mr Barnier is now braced for a major bust up with No 10 next month with fears of a bitter no deal Brexit growing in Brussels.

The EU's despondent negotiator is worried the UK is laying the ground for a vicious "blame game" over who is responsible for the stalemate.

In a gloomy briefing to diplomats his team warned last week's tetchy round of talks only made things worse between the two sides.

An EU source told The Sun: "Outsiders don’t realise how pessimistic we’ve become.

"We expect the mood to switch rapidly to contingency planning, in expectation the UK will throw itself into the blame game rather than the end game.

"The idea that if we do end up with no deal it’ll be because the EU underestimated the UK’s determination is misplaced.

"If it happens it’ll be because there was no overlap of interests allowing a landing zone."

A second EU source said the UK's reliance on access to its waters as a bargaining chip is "risky".

They said: "Coastal states won’t be allowed by others to undercut the integrity of the single market for some fish. That's too high a price."

But they added a major bust up next month could create the impetus for both sides to make last minute compromises in October.

They said: "Johnson personally has indicated he expects there to be a deal and doesn't understand what the hold up is."

The EU Commission is also bullish over reports Michael Gove is preparing "around the clock" for WTO terms at the end of the year.

A spokesman said deal or no deal Brexit "will inevitably create barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that simply don't exist today".

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