‘I can’t tell you what it means!’ Merkel’s farcical admission over EU’s negotiating tactic

20 Oct

The German chancellor was grilled by reporters over what the vaguely defined term, as laid down in the bloc’s negotiating guidelines, specifically entails after leaders took just 90 seconds to decide not to open trade talks with Britain. 

But despite the fact that European capitals are asking the UK to achieve this threshold, Mrs Merkel appeared to have no idea what it actually meant and fobbed off responsibility for its definition onto Mr Barnier. 

However, as the bloc has repeatedly made clear it is the exclusive competence of the EU27 leaders – and not the Frenchman – to determine whether sufficient progress has been made in the talks. 

The farcical moment came as Mrs Merkel debriefed media in Brussels following this week’s EU Council summit, at which Mrs May made a personal plea to fellow member states to move the divorce talks forward. 

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