Despite claiming to have an “oven-ready” deal it was the French that derailed Brexit talks at the 11th hour, the right wing brigade have claimed.
The Daily Express took aim at “selfish Macron” for torpedoing discussions after they were “paused” to allow leaders to take stock this weekend.
The Mail dubbed it “le bust-up” while the Times led with “France derails Brexit talks” on its front cover today.
Talks down to the wire
Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are to hold emergency talks as negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal go down to the wire.
With time for an agreement rapidly running out, the two sides’ chief negotiators announced on Friday they were putting the talks on “pause” to allow political leaders to take stock.
In a joint statement following the latest round of negotiations in London, the UK’s Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier said the conditions for an agreement had still not been met.
After months of circling round the same issues, they said “significant divergences” remained over fisheries, the “level playing field” rules on fair competition and the enforcement mechanism for any deal.
While a series of deadlines have come and gone, this weekend is being seen as crucial if there is to be an agreement before the current Brexit transition period comes to an end at the end of the month.
However, the UK side has accused Brussels of trying to introduce “new elements” into the talks at the 11th hour putting the chances of a deal in jeopardy.
They fear Mr Barnier has been coming under pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron, as the leader of a group of nations concerned that he has given too much ground to the UK.
On Friday, France’s Europe minister Charles Beaune publicly warned his country could veto any agreement if they were not happy with the terms.
But in a sign of tensions within the bloc, Irish premier Micheal Martin – whose country could be one of the biggest losers in the event of no-deal – complained some member states had been putting pressure on to gain “additional information”.
He pointedly called for the negotiators to be given the “space” they needed to conclude their discussions.
Mr Johnson and Mrs von der Leyen are expected to speak by telephone on Saturday afternoon.