A meeting of chief Brexit negotiators last week was one of the most difficult encounters of the last three years, according to European officials, who are bracing for talks to become more hostile under the next British government.
The EU side is weighing up possible concessions it could offer the U.K. to avoid a chaotic no-deal Brexit, according to European officials speaking on condition of anonymity.
But the encounter between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels risks hardening the EU’s stance, making it more difficult to find a way out of the deadlock. Two officials said the U.K. now appeared to be trying to bully the EU into concessions, just as the two candidates to become prime minister vow to take a tougher negotiating stance. [...]
The EU side is braced for the prospect of Boris Johnson -- someone they see as an untrustworthy populist -- becoming prime minister. Johnson is taking a tougher line than Prime Minister Theresa May, vowing to leave the bloc on Oct. 31, with or without a deal. The pound fell 0.5% on Tuesday, approaching its 2019 low. [...]
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