Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (DP) received the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at Senningen château on Monday, praising him for “maintaining EU unity during the negotiations on the British withdrawal from the European Union”.
The meeting between Xavier Bettel and Michel Barnier took place at the Senningen Castle on Monday
Photo: SIP/Emmanuel Claude
Barnier, for his part, added the need for an ambitious deal, and that ensuring fair competition and high standards will be essential.
“While we want an ambitious agreement, we are not ready to conclude an agreement at any cost,” he said. The European Commission’s head of task force for relations with the UK added that, nevertheless, “we are listening to what the UK is saying. Boris Johnson said last Monday that he wanted a free trade agreement with the EU while reserving the right for the British to diverge from European rules on competition, state aid, social protection or the environment.”
Bettel has expressed the need to maintain a level playing field between the UK and the EU and called for fair competition. “The European Union must also have the means to closely monitor legislative developments in the United Kingdom, so that it can be able to react in the event of major differences,” he added.
Foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) and finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) also joined the working meeting.
While Asselborn emphasised the need for a future agreement to “reflect the EU’s high social, environmental, climate and tax standards”, as well as cooperation on matters linked to external security, Gramegna stated that “in terms of financial services, Luxembourg and the City of London have everything to gain,” adding that “close ties may remain all the stronger” as the UK makes its departure.