Brexit: Davis says the UK has compromised in talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionDavid Davis: “Nothing comes for nothing” in negotiations

David Davis says he has “been offering some creative compromises and not always got them back” in Brexit talks.

He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg many EU countries do want to move on in the negotiations because they can see it is very important to their economies.

But it was, he added, a “27 country decision”.

The EU says negotiations cannot move on to trade until questions about the UK “divorce bill”, citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland are resolved.

The Brexit secretary said the UK had made concessions on the right of EU citizens to vote in local elections in the UK among other things.

In a speech in Berlin on Thursday, he warned against “putting politics above prosperity” in Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU.

He outlined his hopes for a deal that “allows for the freest possible trade in goods and services” and said he thought it “incredibly unlikely” there would be no deal.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Davis’s speech was delivered politely but implied “pretty significant frustrations on the UK side with the EU’s attitude”.

The Brexit Secretary, she added, had not offered anything specific – including on what the EU regards as the vital issue of money – in his speech to “move things on”.

‘Creative compromises’

Asked whether it was Germany and France that were most reluctant to open the next phase of talks, Mr Davis said they clearly had the most influence as the two largest EU countries but it was a decision for all 27 and “many of them do want to move on”.

“It is very important to them, countries like Denmark, countries Holland, like Italy and Spain, countries like Poland can see there are big benefits in the future deal we are talking about.”

He defended the UK’s approach to the talks, saying it had offered “creative compromises”.

“I want them to compromise, surprise surprise, nothing comes for nothing in this world,” he said.

“But so far, in this negotiation, we have made a lot of compromises. On the citizens’ rights front, we have made all the running. We have made the running in terms of the right to vote where the EU does not seem to be able to agree.”

In a question and answer session following the speech, a German interviewer got a round of applause for suggesting the UK government looked to be “in chaos”.

Mr Davis replied: “One of the issues in modern politics is that all governments have periods of turbulence. This is a period of turbulence, it will pass.”

Leave a Response