By Louis Gibbon
So, round three of negotiations went as smoothly as everyone expected. Brexit Bulldog David Davis stated that “concrete progress” had been made, and is anyone really surprised? After all, this EU trade deal was going to be the “easiest in history”, according to the trustworthy Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade.
There does, bizarrely, appear to be a stumbling block or two, most notably those pesky Europeans want Britain to pay their outstanding financial commitments, which could add up to £100 billion in gross terms. But, not to worry, our knight in shining armour sounds like he has it all under control: Davis said Britain had a “very different legal stance” and the government owed it to taxpayers to challenge the EU. Quite right too.
A perception also exists within Brussels that Britain wants to have its cake and eat it, cherry-picking the elements of the single market that suit us, losing freedom of movement whilst adopting our own standards and regulations. Oddly, Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, described this is as “unsatisfactory”, again proving to be quite a pain. Not only does he want us to pay our outstanding debts – he, and the EU more widely, won’t allow us to enjoy the benefits of the EU membership without being part of it. Possibly he is forgetting just how much they need us.
Just two rounds of negotiating remain before the summit. An EU negotiator stated that “time is passing very quickly”, which sounds like another attempt at “blackmail” to our good old friend Liam Fox. The bloody EU putting us under unnecessary time pressure. After all, they were the ones who triggered article 50 without a tangible plan.
Going forward, I hope David Davis and co. can keep the great progress up, and the EU may start to realise that they should be working towards a deal that works solely for Great Britain, as opposed to its other 27-member states, because after all that is what the Brexiteers promised us. Farage, Davis, Boris and Fox wouldn’t have lied to us, would they? Rhetoric like ‘take back control’ isn’t just meaningless drivel? Or is the reality that we are aimlessly jumping off a cliff that could leave the country irreversibly damaged?
Photograph: muffinn via Flickr and Creative Commons