Barroso: EU should try to accommodate UK's concerns on deal

Former EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, has warned that Brussels should be trying to compromise in order to secure a UK deal – but has also insisted that the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement won’t be changed.

Speaking today, Barroso said: “There is still room for some renegotiation. While I fully understand the EU27 will not reopen withdrawal agreement – I believe it is possible with some creativity and imagination to find some kind of compromise, it’s far from certain but we should still try. The EU should try to avoid being on the wrong side of the blame game if things go wrong.

“Everybody needs to move a little, that’s a compromise. Where there is a political will, there is a political way. Europe should be making an effort to accommodate some of the UK’s concerns.”

In comments that will alarm Brexiteers though, Barroso also talked up the prospect of a delay to Brexit, saying: “Even if there was a positive deal now, from a practical point of view, it’s obvious that everything is not ready.

“So I think the right thing to do is to have some extension, and I believe that if the UK demands an extension of Article 50, European Union countries will naturally accept it.”

Brussels need to shift significantly or the UK will leave with No Deal on 29th March. If they fail to secure a deal, those running the EU can expect a backlash from German industry and French agriculture. The clock is ticking…