'I prefer to stop at that': The EU's former chief Brexit negotiator tells Euronews he greatly respected UK ex-PM Theresa May and her top delegate, but offers no comment on her successor Boris Johnson or his team.
Six months after the end of his mandate as chief Brexit negotiator for the European Union, Michel Barnier sat down with Euronews for an in-depth interview.
The Frenchman has just published his diary written during the gruelling 1600-day diplomatic tussle between the Bloc and the UK.
The former minister under Nicolas Sarkozy commended several who sat on the opposite side of the table during the negotiations. For others, he was not so candid with his opinion.
“I prefer to say that I still have a lot of respect for Olly Robbins who was Mrs. May's European advisor. I have a lot of esteem for Theresa May who was courageous, tenacious. I prefer to stop at that concerning the portraits I draw."
Certain cracks have begun to show with Brexit, especially in regards to the Northern Ireland protocol and frictions around fisheries.
The former Commissioner calls on Europeans to remain vigilant of the danger that London may seek to change fiscal, social or environmental standards to regain a competitive advantage over the Old Continent.
“I have confidence that this great country will keep to its word, even if there are intentions that I find difficult to understand. Because if you put things in perspective the most important thing for the British is to keep a huge neighbouring market of 450 million consumers. If the value of their signature was called into question I think it would have a serious impact on the confidence we need.”
Barnier has returned to the French political scene and hasn’t ruled out standing in the next year’s presidential elections.
Michel Barnier's interview will be broadcast this Monday evening on Euronews and Euronews.com.