EU negotiator Michel Barnier to meet with MSPs

Written by Tom Freeman on 7 September 2017 in News

Scottish Parliament’s European Committee to meet Michel Barnier on Monday

Michel Barnier - European Parliament audiovisual

European Commission chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is to update MSPs on the progress of negotaitions with the UK Government.

Barnier, who  has said the UK’s approach to Brexit is ‘nostalgic and unrealistic’ has agreed to meet members of the Scottish Parliament's European Committee on Monday.

Following the last round of talks between the UK and the EU, Barnier said that there had been a lack of decisive progress on the main areas of the negotiations.


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Committee Convener Joan McAlpine praised the "openness" of the European Commission.

“We welcome the opportunity to discuss the points that have been made to us in the evidence we have taken so far and to raise our concerns about the impact of Brexit in Scotland. We will also highlight the consequences for Scotland if an orderly withdrawal and transition cannot be agreed between the UK and the EU," she said.

“As there have been no formal intergovernmental discussions within the UK on the withdrawal process since February this year, speaking to Mr Barnier will allow us to gain a greater understanding of the direction of the talks and the consequences of the negotiations for Scotland.”

Committee Deputy Convener, Lewis Macdonald MSP, also expressed his appreciation of the commitment made by Mr Barnier to meet with Committee. He said—

“These are historic negotiations that will have a profound impact on Scotland and Mr Barnier’s willingness to engage with the Committee is extremely welcome.

“The talks do not appear to be making as much progress as had been expected by this point of time. I am particularly concerned about whether any transitional arrangements can be agreed that allow us to maintain access to the single market in the short-term, and give us time to resolve difficult issues for the long term. I will be seeking to establish whether there is scope for continuing membership of the customs union and the single market in a transitional period.”

Michael Russell, Scotland's minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, will appear before the committee today.

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