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The former Cabinet minister was condemned after he took to Twitter and insisted it has been the “longstanding position” of Brexiteers that the EU will hand over whatever Britain demands in an agreement if Brussels believes the UK will walk away with no deal. The ex-Conservative MP added that this argument will be “exposed”.
Mr Gauke tweeted: “It’s been the longstanding position of Brexiteers that the EU will give us whatever we want as long as they believe that we’re prepared to walk away.
“With a Brexiteer govt, that argument will be exposed. Get ready for the explanation ‘the EU underestimated our determination’.”
But the post prompted a strong reaction from other Twitter users.
LBC presenter Iain Dale hit back: “A ridiculous mischaracterisation.”
talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer simply replied: “No it isn’t.”
Another Twitter user blasted: “Thats your misinterpretation and characterisation @DavidGauke you have never understood Brexit or those who voted for it. Why pretend to know now?”
In a furious response, one said: “Gauke is yet another Remoaner who thinks he knows what Brexiters want and how they think.”
A fifth added: “It’s been the longstanding position of Remainers that they would only ever debate straw men and wildly misstate the arguments of Brexiteers … which is why they always failed to win the argument with their actual opponents.”
Another fumed: “This is a complete misrepresentation.
“Brexiteers have often said that there is no chance the EU would give us a good deal if we weren’t prepared to walk away, but that’s not the same thing as what he’s saying.”
One more added: “Hence why you are no longer an MP”
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But some agreed with the former justice secretary, with one commenting: “Man knows what he’s talking about. Mark it.”
Mr Gauke was MP South West Hertfordshire from 2005 to 2019.
He was among 21 Tory MPs who lost the whip last September after rebelling against Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
He stood as an independent candidate in December’s election but lost his seat.
Mr Gauke’s tweet comes as post-Brexit trade talks between Britain and Brussels are at a deadlock.
Little progress has been made after the seventh round of negotiations ended last week.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned the prospect of a deal is “unlikely”.
The Prime Minister’s Europe adviser David Frost insisted an agreement can still be struck.
But he accused the EU of frustrating negotiations by trying to force the UK to sign up to the bloc’s state aid and fisheries rules before allowing further work on other areas.
Mr Frost said: “The EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts.
“This makes it unnecessarily difficult to make progress.
“There are other significant areas which remain to be resolved and, even where there is a broad understanding between negotiators, there is a lot of detail to work through. Time is short for both sides.”
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