Brexit negotiations on course to fail: European Commission former president

| Updated: Mar 26, 2017 13:21 IST

London [U.K.], Mar. 26 (ANI): Brexit negotiations are on course to fail unless both Britain and the European Union ditch their winner-takes-all approach to the coming talks, the former president of the European commission Jose Manuel Barroso has said. With few days to go before British Prime Minister Theresa May formally notifies Brussels of the U.K.'s intention to leave the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker's predecessor said the two sides were playing a dangerous game, reports the Guardian. The Prime Minister has said she believes "no deal is better than a bad deal", and some in her cabinet have openly talked up the prospect of walking away from the negotiating table. Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, has placed the settlement of Britain's £50bn in financial liabilities as the prerequisite for any progress. Last week the French former minister conjured up a vision of queues of Dover, nuclear fuel shortages and chaos for citizens as a consequence of Britain's failure to live up to its responsibility. Asked about the coming Brexit talks on the margins of Rome summit to mark the 60th anniversary of the EU's founding, French President François Hollande said he wanted them to be amicable. "We will ensure that it does not happen to Europe's detriment, that Britain remains a partner of the union but that, necessarily, it will pay the consequences," he said. Barroso also suggested that extremists on both sides of the Channel wanted the UK to break away from the EU entirely. "I think both sides until now mostly put the issue in terms of a zero-sum game and I think this is not helpful," he said. "What they should understand, both sides, is that we have to work constructively because, whether some people like it or not, Britain will be part of Europe. Some people both on the continent and in the UK don't like the idea that Britain is part of Europe, but it is." "Of course, Britain not keeping the responsibility of membership cannot expect the privileges of membership, that's quite clear. Having said that, I think it is possible to come to a constructive agreement that minimises the negative points and offers some way forward. But that requires on both sides strategic thinking and leadership," he added. (ANI)