The European Union wants a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain but not at any price, Germany’s Europe Minister Michael Roth said on Friday.
“We can’t endanger the peace in the Northern Ireland, we need fair trading conditions that prevent dumping in consumer protection, the environment, in workers’ rights,” Roth told Deutschlandfunk radio.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday there was a Brexit trade deal “to be done” after the European Union put the onus on Britain to compromise.
Asked if Prime Minister Boris Johnson would walk away from talks, Raab said: “Let’s what see what the prime minister will say later, we’ll look at this very carefully and he’ll set out some further detail later today.”
“We’ve always said there’s a deal to be done,” he told BBC radio on Friday.
“The issues are very narrow now in terms of there’s only really two issues at stake, so a deal should be able to be done but it must require goodwill on both sides.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reported “some movement” on Thursday in talks between European Union leaders about an agreement with the United Kingdom on their post-Brexit relations.
“In some places there was movement, in other places there is still a lot of work to do,” she told reporters.
“For us, it is important that Ireland can continue to live in peace, that we secure the single market, but we know that Great Britain aims for a certain measure of independence, that it is no longer member of the European Union. In this spirit we have asked Michel Barnier to continue the negotiations,” she added, with reference to the bloc’s chief negotiator.
“We have asked Great Britain to remain ready for compromise on an agreement,” Merkel added. “If necessary we have to live without (an agreement), but I believe it would be better to have such an agreement.”