The GuardianMay’s Brexit blueprint is unworkable, says Barnier

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 19:17, Sep 03, 2018 | Updated : 19:19, Sep 03, 2018

Front page of The Guardian ob Monday (Sept 3)Michel Barnier said yesterday he is “strongly opposed” to Theresa May’s Chequers proposals on future trade, as he advised European car manufacturers that they will have to use fewer British-made parts after Brexit.
In his most damning condemnation yet of the UK government’s plans, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said the British offer on customs was illegal and its suggestion of a “common rulebook” on goods would kill the European project.
In an intervention that will concern the 186,000 people directly employed by the car industry in the UK, Barnier warned European manufacturers that the streamlined system of imports and exports between the UK and the rest of Europe would come to an end.
His comments came as the former Brexit secretary David Davis criticised May for admitting she would have to make compromises to the EU beyond the Chequers agreement in order to achieve a Brexit deal, and said he could not vote for what has been proposed because it was worse than staying in. Davis was
Barnier calls May’s Chequers proposals on customs ‘illegal’ speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show after the prime minister had said in an article in the Sunday Telegraph that she would “not be pushed into accepting compromises” on Chequers that are “not in our national interest”.
Davis, who resigned because he could not endorse the Chequers deal, said May’s words amounted to “an incredible ‘open sesame’”. Brussels has until now raised questions about the UK government’s vision on trade after Brexit but has fallen shy of its dismissal. However, speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper during a visit to Germany, Barnier did not hold back. “I am often accused in the United Kingdom of being dogmatic,” he told the newspaper. “In fact, I only fulfil our fundamental interests.”
Under the Chequers deal there would be a “free trade area for goods”, under which the UK would in effect retain existing regulatory and customs arrangements by becoming a rule-taker. In order to avoid border checks, Britain is also seeking a “facilitated customs arrangement”.
The UK could control its own tariffs, to allow it to pursue an independent trade policy, but customs officials would collect and pass on the higher EU tariff to Brussels for goods passing through the UK en route to the continent. May’s de facto deputy prime minister, David Lidington, has recently said the Chequers proposals would protect both the British and European economies, and is the only alternative to a no-deal scenario.
However, Barnier has seemingly ruled out any such arrangement, insisting the only option that could maintain something like the current economic relationship would be to follow the Norway model, under which there would be free movement of people and large payments to Brussels. “We cannot relinquish control of our external borders and the revenue there to a third country – that’s not legal,” he said.
“Moreover, the British proposal is not practical. It is impossible to tell exactly where a product ends up, on the UK market or in the internal market … That would only be possible with insane and unjustifiable bureaucracy. Therefore, the British proposal would be an invitation to fraud, if implemented.” British and EU negotiators are due to re-engage this week, following talks last Friday between Barnier and Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary. EU sources said the substance of the Chequers deals was effectively “history” as far as Brussels was concerned.
‘I am often accused of being dogmatic. In fact I only fulfil our essential interests’ Michel Barnier EU negotiator.