The UK needs a “dose of realism” when it comes to Brexit, according to a top EU official.
Stefaan De Rynck, who is Michel Barnier’s senior aide, said the next phase of the UK’s departure would be more complicated to negotiate than the Withdrawal Agreement, Politico reported.
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill cleared its final parliamentary hurdle on Wednesday and now awaits royal assent.
According to Politico, Mr Dr Rynck told an event at UCL: “The construction of the text for the Withdrawal Agreement wasn’t always easy — but compared to the construction of the text for the future relationship agreement, we are talking about two different kinds of exercises.
“The limitation of time must lead to some dose of realism on what can be achieved.”
The comments came as prime minister Boris Johnson claimed the country had “crossed the Brexit finish line” as the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which will see the UK leave the EU on 31 January, completed its passage through parliament.
But trade negotiations are still yet to come – something Mr De Rynck suggested would be a complicated process.
According to Politico, he said Britain should be grateful for a “pretty generous offer” from the EU involving zero tariffs and zero quotas between Europe and the UK.
He also drew parallels with food – comparing his preferred agreement that would see different areas like trade, fisheries and security wrapped up in one package to pasta “where everything is integrated as a main course”.
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