LONDON – A former European Union (EU) chief negotiator said Wednesday that there are no advantages from the Brexit deal for anyone as it was a "lose-lose game."
Michel Barnier, former head of the European Commission's Task Force for relations with the United Kingdom (UK), spoke at a conference in London about EU-UK ties and Brexit negotiation as three years have passed since the UK formally ceased to be a member state of the EU.
Touching on talks during Brexit, Barnier said he thinks the consequences of Brexit for the UK were underestimated.
In response to a question about whether there were mistakes during negotiations that could have been done better, he said taking more time probably could have been better.
"However, the agenda was imposed by the British government," he said, referring to the timeline of the withdrawal agreement that will enter into force upon the UK's exit.
Barnier said there was "real fear and concerns" for the EU as it was the first time a member wanted to leave the bloc but he noted that the UK can rejoin the EU at any time.
'EU is not the same'
Asked if there is any upside to Brexit for the UK, he said it is a failure for the EU and the UK.
"There are no advantages for nobody ... Brexit is a lose-lose game," added Barnier, who is also a former foreign minister of France.
But Barnier said the EU is not the same as it was before Brexit and the bloc is changing positively.
Barnier said although Brexit is still an issue for the UK, the EU has already left it behind.
Issues like security, climate change and poverty in Africa are among top agenda items for Europe, not Brexit, he said.
The UK left the EU after 47 years of membership on Jan. 31, 2020. (Anadolu)