The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, did not rule out on Saturday that the final negotiations underway between Europeans and the British on their post-Brexit relationship will continue beyond Sunday, against the will of the European Parliament .
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“As I speak to you, there are still negotiations” and “we will try to move forward in the hours to come,” said Beaune on France Inter. But “it’s normal not to say ‘listen, it’s Sunday night, we’re stopping, and so I’m sacrificing everything’. We will not do that, because what is at stake are entire sectors, such as fishing, the conditions of competition for our companies in the long term, ”he argued.
The European Parliament has warned, for its part, wanting an agreement by “Sunday midnight”, to examine and ratify it so that it can enter into force on 1er January, once the divorce with the United Kingdom – which officially left the European Union (EU) on January 31 – will be final.
“I know that it is difficult, that it is sometimes complicated to understand, but it is necessary to take this time and not to sacrifice our interests under the pressure of a calendar”, insisted Saturday the secretary of French State.
“You should never negotiate with a form of time pressure because in these cases, you have to make concessions to have finished no matter what,” he said. “We don’t want an agreement at all costs […]. Here we are negotiating the largest agreement potentially the EU has ever concluded, which commits us for years ”.