Michel Barnier warned Britain that the EU would not make concessions after the first day of Brexit negotiations came to a close in Brussels.
When asked whether the EU had made any concessions during talks, the EU’s chief negotiator replied: “I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions, or ask for concessions. It is not about punishment. It is not about revenge. We are implementing the decision taken by the UK to leave the EU and unravel 43 years of patiently built relations.”
The comment came after Britain appeared to tone down its opposition to holding sequential talks, with the UK’s future relationship with the EU to be discussed only once issues such as citizens’ rights, the border with Northern Ireland and the UK’s financial liabilities had been settled.
The French politician reiterated that Britain would have to deal with the “consequences” of its decision to leave the bloc.
Mr Barnier said: “The UK has decided to leave the EU. It is not the other way round. The UK is going to leave the EU, the single market, customs union – not the other way round. We each have to assume our responsibility and the consequences of our decision.”