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Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government and Brexit expert Georgina Wright argued that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is facing a difficult task in the Brexit trade deal talks with the UK. While speaking to the Future Relationship with the European Union Committee on Wednesday she highlighted key issues for Mr Barnier. She insisted the EU Parliament was hinting at a threat to block a trade deal agreement made by member states with the UK.
She warned this threat should not be taken lightly as they have their own constituencies to satisfy.
Ms Wright added this made Michel Barnier’s job more difficult as he had to satisfy two groups while both grew frustrated at the UK’s determination to push through the Internal Market Bill.
She said: “I think the European Parliament said that they hadn’t had enough, not input so much, but time to deliberate it.
“They have got their own constituents that they need to stand up for.
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“In a sense, they are going to try to show that they are standing up for what they believe in.
“My conclusion is that if EU member states are happy with the deal I doubt very much that the European Parliament would vote it down.”
Ms Wright noted the difficulties that are mounting for Michel Barnier in the trade deal row.
She said: “It really makes Michel Barnier’s task a lot harder.
“He is having to go to European Parliament and member states and say let us move away from our mandate.
“They can turn around and say how can we trust you on this because the UK is going ahead and trying to unpick the withdrawal agreement.
“Would the EU Parliament vote it down, question mark but probably not, it would certainly make them more bullish on other aspects particularly on future trade agreements.
Ms Wright also reflected on what could happen if the Internal Market Bill was passed unamended in the UK.
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She said: ” That being said, the withdrawal agreement is very important.
“If this bill goes through unamended, I suspect that will decrease flexibility and compromise in other areas, in particular the future trade agreement.
“There is always the possibility the EU Parliament could vote the trade agreement down.”
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