PARIS — The EU is right to continue talking to Britain for now, and should not overreact to British tactics that could be aimed at pushing Brussels to break off negotiations over a Brexit trade deal, France’s European affairs minister said on Thursday.
The British government won initial approval in parliament this week for a bill that would give ministers the power to breach the Brexit divorce treaty agreed last year.
The EU has demanded Britain scrap those parts of the bill by the end of September, and said that if not, there will be no trade deal at the end of the year when a transition period expires and Britain leaves the bloc’s orbit.
Asked in parliament whether the EU should stop talks on the trade deal immediately, the French minister, Clement Beaune, said: “At this stage, we’re right to continue to discuss with the British.”
“Some on the other side of the Channel could be trying to push us into making mistakes,” Beaune told lawmakers. “Then they will say: ‘it’s the Europeans who don’t want a deal, we in Britain have made our best efforts’.”
He added: “We shouldn’t fall into the trap.” (Reporting by Michel Rose Editing by Peter Graff)