France to Oppose ‘Bad’ Brexit Trade Deal With Veto, European Affairs Minister Says

Paris will use the right of veto to reject the potential Brexit agreement if it is not satisfactory for France, Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said on Friday.

“We must prepare for a risk of ‘no deal’ but this is not what we want. I still hope that we can have a deal but we won’t accept a bad deal for France. If there was an agreement and it was not good, we would oppose it with a right of veto”, Beaune said, as quoted by the Europe 1 broadcaster.

The post-Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union on a joint trade agreement are due to conclude before 31 December, when the so-called transitional period expires. However, the countries have so far failed to reach the deal.

In one of the last-ditch attempts on Thursday, the talks were impeded again when France, along with several other EU states, expressed concerns over Brussels’ readiness to make too many concessions to London.

If the parties find no common ground by 31 December, London will no longer be under the bloc’s trade rules, with the World Trade Organization’s rules coming into force for both sides in 2021, including customs tariffs and full border checks for UK goods going across the English Channel.

So far, one of the main stumbling blocks in the negotiations has been the fisheries issue, as France is among the EU countries aspiring to keep access to the UK waters, while London seeks to review fishing rights.

Another sticking point in the talks is the level-playing field, which is a set of common rules and standards designed to prevent businesses in one country from undercutting their rivals in other countries.

Both parties envision the negotiations’ deadline to be set for late on Sunday or early Monday.

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