The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator will meet Nicola Sturgeon tomorrow to hear the Scottish Government’s views on Brexit.
Michel Barnier said he would meet the Scottish First Minister as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones to “listen to different points of view”.
At a press conference in Brussels ahead of the next round of Brexit talks on Monday, Mr Barnier said: “Tomorrow, at their request, I will meet Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones.”
He stressed that negotiations would only be held with the UK Government.
Mr Barnier also slapped down Boris Johnson over his claim that Brussels could “go whistle” if it expected large sums from Britain as part of the withdrawal agreement.
Asked about the Foreign Secretary’s comment, the EU chief negotiator pointedly referred to the tight deadline to reach a trade agreement ahead of the March 2019 date for Brexit, telling a Brussels press conference: “I’m not hearing any whistling, just the clock ticking.”
Mr Barnier said Britain must offer more clarity on its position on the “divorce bill” financial settlement with the EU - as well as the status of expat citizens and the nature of the future border with the Republic of Ireland - if it is to make progress towards a deal on trade arrangements after Brexit.
His comments came as credit ratings agency Moody’s warned that the UK’s creditworthiness was “under pressure” due to uncertainty over the result of Brexit negotiations and that Britain would face “materially weaker” growth if it failed to secure a good deal on trade.