United Kingdom minister: European Union commission criticism of Brexit talks was 'silly'

Barnier Davis

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier looked "a bit silly" when he said there had been no major progress in the talks on Britain's departure from the bloc, his United Kingdom counterpart David Davis said Sunday.

Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, he criticised the EU Commission for trying to paint the talks in a negative light after last week's third negotiating round ended with sharp criticism of the British approach.

"The Commission puts itself in a silly position if it says nothing has been done", he added, stressing he was not branding Mr Barnier personally "silly". "That's what this is about".

Talks had been protracted, he said, because of the meticulous detail involved.

"Time is not running out".

Echoing threats made by European Union lead negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday as the third round of Brexit talks came to an acrimonious end, in which the Eurocrat repeatedly warned there would be "consequences" for the United Kingdom, Davis said Sunday: "We are a country that meets our worldwide obligations". I said this is going to be turbulent. "They are trying to use time against us".

But Davis, Britain's Brexit secretary, said the two sides had reached agreement on important issues such as health insurance for British citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

He added: "We're going through [the bill] line by line, and they're finding it hard because we've got good lawyers..."

But you don't walk off before paying, the host Marr suggested.

"It amounts to a trouncing of democracy and people will not accept it", she added.

The first debate on the so-called Repeal Bill, which ensure European Union law will no longer apply in the United Kingdom, takes place on Thursday, and the Prime Minister has warned would-be rebels in her party not to water down the legislation.

But Labour is to launch an all-out assault on what it calls the government's "undemocratic" and "unacceptable" plans to legislate for Brexit, setting the scene for months of parliamentary warfare.

On Saturday, May's deputy advised Conservative lawmakers against doing anything that would increase Labour's chances of returning to power, while May said the bill was the best way to ensure a successful Brexit.

The EU's Brexit negotiator has said he sees the process as an opportunity to "teach the British people and others what leaving the EU means".

But May and her Brexit secretary, David Davis, risk accusations that they are keeping their intentions secret to protect the prime minister from attacks by Eurosceptics at a conference where she will fight to re-establish credibility. That's what matters to the people, not the politics, running the country.



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