France and Germany are blocking a Brexit deal, David Davis has suggested, as he listed five European Union countries that want to “move on”.
The Exiting the EU secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Britain would not compromise on EU talks without Brussels giving ground, saying “nothing comes from nothing”.
He singled out France and Germany as blocking progress in talks in Brussels, listing five EU countries that want to do a deal.
His comments came as Theresa May, the Prime Minister, prepares to meet Donald Tusk, the EU Council president, at a summit in Sweden.
Mr Davis said: “Many of them do want to move on. You know, they see it’s very important to them.
“Countries like Denmark. Countries like Holland. Countries like Italy and Spain. Countries like Poland can see the big, big benefit in the future deal that we’re talking about.
“The strong, the deep and special relationship the Prime Minister refers to, a strong trading relationship, a strong security relationship. They’ve all got things to benefit from that.
“And as I say, this is not a one-way street. This is not a something for nothing. This is something which benefits everyone.”
Asked if Germany and France were “holdings things up”, Mr Davis said: “To be clear Germany and France, you know, it’s the open secret of Europe, they’re the most powerful players on the European Common.
“Of course they are. And so what they believe is very influential, sometimes decisively so. But it’s the whole of Europe’s decision, it’s a 27-country decision.”
Mr Davis continued: “It’s always in a negotiation you want the other side to compromise. I want them to compromise. Surprise, surprise, nothing comes for nothing in this world.
“But so far in this negotiation we’ve made quite a lot of compromises. On the citizens’ rights front we have been, we have made all the running.
“We’ve made the running in terms of the things like the right to vote, where the European Union doesn’t seem to be able to agree that everybody involved – the three million Europeans in Britain, million Brits abroad – should be able to vote.
“They can’t do that. So, you know, we have been actually offering some quite creative compromises. We haven’t always got that back.”
Earlier Mrs May hinted that Britain will pay more to the EU to leave in order to get talks going.
She said: “The negotiations continue and look forward to the December EU council.
“I was clear in my speech in Florence we would honour our commitments but of course we want to move forward together talking about the trade issues and partnerships.”