Brexit: EU want to show there is a 'price to be paid' says Hannan
Former Tory MEP Dan Hannan argued Michel Barnier was hoping to punish the UK in the Brexit crunch talks. While speaking to Adam Boulton on Sky News, he said the EU’s determination to show that Brexit has a “price to be paid” helped explain their attitude towards the UK in the talks. Despite this, Mr Hannan said he was still hopeful the EU and UK would be able to come to a deal.
Mr Hannan said: “I am very confident about our global opportunities.
“Of course it is much better to have a deal and I would much rather have amicable relations with our closest neighbours.
“They are our trading partners, customers and suppliers – and they are our allies.
“What it comes down to is whether the EU is interested in just doing a trade deal or as Michel Barnier said at the beginning, he wanted to use it to teach us a lesson.
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“Is the EU is emotionally prepared to accept that the UK is a fully independent nation?”
Sky News host Adam Boulton demanded to know when Mr Barnier said this about the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Hannan answered: “He made a comment to the EU leaders when he was first appointed when he said it is my job to come up with such a hard deal that the Brits had wished they had never left.
“I think that explains quite a lot of the negotiating attitude we have seen since.
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“They have done this instead of saying, as it does with Korea, Japan, or anywhere else, let’s just talk about trade
“I think the EU, on one level, stills see the UK as a recalcitrant province and wants to use the talks to show that there is a price to be paid.
“Fundamentally, that is where the hold up is.”
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The Internal Market Bill is to return to the House of Commons for a third reading this week and is also expected to frustrate the European Union further.
Despite this, Tory Minister James Cleverly insisted he was optimistic a deal still could be agreed.
He told Sky News: “It is not completely surprising that this is going to the wire.
“But we will keep negotiating hard on behalf of the British people to get a good trading agreement and get a deal done, we will use as much time as we have got available.”
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