Informing MEPs on the fourth round of Brexit talks, chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in Strasbourg plenary that the EU will remain “resolutely constructive” during the fifth round of negotiations round that are due next week, “because we want to succeed”.

“We will not pay at 27 what has been decided at 28, it is simple as that,” added Barnier, putting a red line on what the EU-27 taxpayers are to pay. “The taxpayers of the 27 don’t have to pay for the consequences of the decision that they didn’t take”, said Barnier. “No more, no less”.

As for any worries that the MEPs have pointed in their resolution, after discriminatory measures taken by the British authorities, the EU needs to guarantee: The withdrawal agreement to have direct effect to allow British authorities and judges to rely directly on the withdrawal agreement. Without direct effect, these rights could be changed over time, and a coherent interpretation of the agreement on both sides of the Chanel, which only the ECJ can assure.

‘The future of the Union is more important than Brexit’

Towards the future, Barnier underlined the importance of the future EU-UK relationship but valued the future of the bloc to be more important than Brexit. “As the Chancellor of Germany and President Juncker have said, we know that the future of the Union is more important than Brexit”.

According to Barnier, an ambitious and lasting partnership with the UK remains a goal. “The sooner we agree on the principles of an orderly withdrawal, the sooner we can concentrate on this objective, which is in our common interest,” added Barnier, repeating that the EU’s approach is based on the bloc’s fundamental principles.

These fundamental principles are and will remain the unity and interest of the Member States and institutions, the autonomy of decision and the integrity of the Single Market and the four freedoms, which are our foundation. “These principles have been at the heart of our political project since the beginning, and since the UK knows them well, having shared them with the EU-27 for 44 years, “they are not negotiable,” concluded Barnier.