V4, CEE ambassadors, EU's Brexit negotiator meet over EU-UK relations

Michel Barnier had presented the ambassadors with the state of negotiations between London and Brussels. Neil Hall/PAP/EPA

At the initiative of Poland, a meeting was held between EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the ambassadors of V4 countries and those from the surrounding regions to discuss the state of negotiations on future relations between the EU and Great Britain.

The meeting was convened in Brussels on Monday. The Visegrad (V4) countries are Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

"Today at our meeting in the 'Visegrad plus' format, Polish ambassador to the EU Andrzej Sadoś and his counterparts from Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia, hosted Michel Barnier, the chief EU negotiator for relations with Great Britain. Their discussions concerned future relations between the European Union and Great Britain," wrote the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union on Twitter.

Barnier's press services told PAP that the French official had presented the ambassadors with the state of negotiations between London and Brussels.

Currently, all trade and regulatory issues fall within the competences of the EU and, accordingly, as argued by the government, it is necessary to adapt them to the situation when EU laws cease to apply. The idea is to avoid having different trade regulations in different parts of the country.

A controversy regards the provision in the draft which allows the cancellation of arrangements concerning Northern Ireland in the agreement on the withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, which is already in force.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen warned in September that without the provisions of Great Britain's exit agreement regarding the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, there would be no future partnership between the '27' and the UK.

The Commission declared that it would do everything in its power to reach an agreement with London, but that it must be in line with the EU's long-term economic and political interests.

Great Britain left the EU on January 31. During the transitional period, valid until the end of 2020, the sides are trying to negotiate an agreement on future relations. The next round of negotiations will take place this week in London.