Andrew Neil explains how Macron has ruined Boris Johnson’s hopes for a Brexit deal

The BBC presenter said EU countries including France are plotting to ensure the UK follows the bloc’s rules on issues such as labour, state aide and the environment in their post-Brexit trade agreement. This is despite the Prime Minister being clear the UK wants to “remain aligned” with the EU over these issues. This comes as the UK government has said it would publish its mandate for its trade deal later this week.

Mr Neil tweeted: “Current draft of EU negotiating mandate with UK wants UK to remain aligned with EU on current environmental, labour and state aid rules.

“But France and others seeking to add dynamic alignment, ie UK follows any EU future additions to these rules.”

This prompted many replies from Twitter users criticising the EU over this.

One person said: “Perhaps the UK should be thinking about what level playing field provisions it wishes to place on the EU.”

Somebody else added: “EU haven’t changed or moved their goalposts.

“UK on the other hand have done nothing but, even reneging on a signed withdrawal agreement.”

A third was unconvinced the EU even wanted to strike a deal at this point.

They wrote: “They don’t want a deal.

“Waste of time.”

Another simply said: “Time to move swiftly to WTO.”

Mr Macron warned over the weekend he believes trade negotiations between the UK and EU ,which begin next month, will be “tense”.

He added he is “not sure” a deal will be struck by the December 31 deadline, which is when the Brexit transition period ends.

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Mr Macron said at a meeting with fishermen in Paris on Saturday: “I am not sure that an agreement will be reached between now and the end of the year.

“Anyway, it is going to become more tense because [the British] are very hard.”

Mr Macron also warned fishing rights could could be a tough topic during negotiations.

This is because the UK has been clear it will consider a deal on fisheries that is based on “British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats”.

In the mandate, ministers are expected to call for a Canada-style deal with few tariffs on goods.

This is despite EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier ruling this out.

He previously said: “We remain ready to offer the UK an ambitious partnership.

“A trade agreement that includes in particular fishing and includes a level playing field, with a country that has a very particular proximity – a unique territorial and economic closeness – which is why it can’t be compared to Canada or South Korea or Japan.”

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