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The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday that he doesn’t think talks with the UK would have made much more progress by now even if there wasn’t a coronavirus crisis.

Additional takeaways

“The UK refuses to commit to the level playing field but at the same time requests a special status of being very close to the EU single market on financial services.”

“UK also wants to keep the benefits of a single electricity market without any obligations.”

“Nothing would justify the EU encouraging UK to start sourcing car parts outside of EU.”

“We will do everything in our power to reach an agreement.”

“We will never sacrifice the EU’s long-term economic and political interest for the sole benefit of the UK.”

“We will not put into question our union, single market and capacity to set our own rules.”

“Our duty is to protect the EU companies and people.”

“Deal with the UK is still possible.”

“The UK keeps on backtracking from commitments in the political declaration.”

“We need a clear signal that the UK is ready to work on the agreement that respects political declaration in spirit and letter.”

“In the last round, we made a number of openings in key areas but the UK showed no willingness to engage.”

Market reaction

The GBP/USD pair stays under bearish pressure following these remarks and was last seen losing 0.35% on the day at 1.2475.