Published On: Fri, Nov 24th, 2017

Brexiteer whips out Article 50 letter & puts former EU negotiator in her place in TV clash


Peter Lilley, who campaigned for , criticised the bloc for the framework of negotiations, claiming Brussels had the order “wrong”. 

The Conservative politician said the UK could not negotiate an agreement with the European Union because they have no idea of what a future trade relationship would look like. 

Miriam Gonzalez, a Brexit advisor and wife of Remainer Nick Clegg, claimed the UK Government had not clearly outlined what they want in negotiations.

Speaking on Sky News about the framework of Brexit talks, Mr Lilley said: “It was tidy, although it didn’t agree with the wording of Article 50.

“Miriam is a lawyer and can correct me if I am wrong, but Article 50 says the EU shall negotiate within the framework of a future agreement.”

Ms Gonzalez stepped in saying the would negotiate an agreement “with a view” towards a future relationship, arguing that she read the “exact words”. 

The Brexiteer continued with his point as he claimed that the EU’s framework of discussions was one of the main reasons for the deadlock in talks. 

He said: “But you can’t negotiate with a view to something that you haven’t agreed upon, at least in outline. How can you? 

“So they have got the order exactly wrong. You should decide an outline of what a future relationship is going to be and then you negotiate within that. 

“You can’t negotiate within something that you are unaware of.” 

The debate continued before later the Brexiteer referred to the Article 50 letter to make his point. 

He said: “Actually I have got the wording of Article 50 here, it’s ‘taking account’. ‘We should negotiate an agreement taking account of the framework for its future relationship’.

“But how can you take into account a framework which you haven’t decided upon.” 

The Spanish lawyer snapped back, blaming the UK for why negotiations were still stuck in the first phase of talks. 

She said: “But that is what they have to start negotiating. They are going to start looking at the trade relationship and the transition period with a view to that framework. 

“The UK has not put on the table. The real reason why we are not negotiating about trade is because the UK has not put on the table yet, for one-year-and-a-half what the UK Government wants.”

The Prime Minister is in Brussels as she tries meets with EU counterparts for the Eastern Partnership summit. 

Reports say is preparing to double her offer of £18m, in a bid to move Brexit talks onto the second stage of discussions, and begin future trade talks.


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