EU Brexit negotiator says David Davis comments 'undermine trust'
Brexit secretary David Davis’ claim that the deal agreed by the UK and European Union last week is not binding has been branded “unacceptable” by bloc negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who added that it “undermines trust” between the two teams.
A major breakthrough was reached last week after an agreement on the core issues of the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and Ireland before Davis claimed that the deal was not legally binding.
However Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament, has vowed to introduce stricter legal wording to the document presented to member states later this week.
European leaders will meet on Friday to give final approval to the document, which will be presented to parliamentary representatives on Tuesday.
“Remarks by David Davis that Phase one deal last week not binding were unhelpful & undermines trust. EP text will now reflect this & insist agreement translated into legal text ASAP,” Verhofstadt tweeted on Tuesday.
After Davis's "unacceptable remarks", Verhofstadt said "it’s time the UK government restores trust", adding these amendments "will further toughen up our resolution”.
Verhofstadt’s rebuke of Davis’ comments mirrors that of the Irish government, which said on Monday that the agreement was more than a “statement of intent”.
"We will as a government, a sovereign government in Ireland, be holding the United Kingdom to account, as will the European Union...This, as far as we’re concerned, is a binding agreement, an agreement in principle,” a government spokesperson said.