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‘As if we don’t have the right to leave’ Tory Brexiteer BLASTS EU chiefs’ Brexit demands


BREXITEER Bernard Jenkin slammed the EU Commission for their Brexit demands claiming Brussels is finding the negotiations “very, very difficult”.

Speaking on TalkRadio, the Conservative MP said the EU’s approach to the Brexit negotiations is an attempt to deter other countries from knowing there are advantages in leaving the bloc.

Mr Jenkin added that the EU’s recent leaked document shows the bloc’s operators do not treat the UK as an equal partner in the negotiations.

He said: “The tone of the document and indeed of Mr Tusk at the press conference yesterday is still very much that ‘we can instruct the British what to do, how they will engage with us, we’re not equals and you are the supplicants’, they’re saying to us.

“‘You are begging for mercy from us, we are going to determine what this outcome is’.

“That ignores the fact that they want a very great deal of money from us and that actually a lot of jobs depend on trade with the United Kingdom on the Continent.

“And it’s very interesting, a Belgian minister yesterday, in a rather untempered outburst, suddenly announced that Belgium needs a free trade deal with the United Kingdom or thousands of jobs will be lost.

“So I think the reasoning is going to come not from the EU operators, if it comes at all it’ll come from the member states.

“The EU is finding it very, very difficult. They are still behaving as if we don’t have the right to leave the EU.

“And this is all because the idea of a member state, and least of all a major member state like the UK, leaving the EU and then perhaps gaining some advantages from leaving the EU, that is what really sticks in their core and they don’t want that message to be transmitted to other member states.”

A leaked Brussels document took aim at Prime Minister Theresa May following her Mansion House speech last week, laying out the UK’s position on Brexit.

The internal memo from Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission claimed her address was more about “keeping the unity in her Cabinet” than putting forward “workable solutions” on trade with the EU.

In another dig at the Prime Minister, it read: “Her speech was more a domestic communication battle than proposing real substance and ways forward.”

Speaking at a press conference in Luxembourg on Wednesday, the European Council president Donald Tusk insisted he did not “want to build a wall” with the UK but said the move to leave the single market and customs union meant “it should come as no surprise that the only remaining model is a free-trade agreement” along the lines of Canada.

He warned: “This will be the first FTA in history that loosens economic ties instead of strengthening them.

“Our agreement will not make trade between the UK and EU frictionless or smoother.

“It will make it more complicated and costly than today for all of us. This is the essence of Brexit.”

He added: “We will enter the negotiations with an open, positive and constructive mind but also with realism.”

Mr Tusk also insisted a “pick and mix” approach for a non-member state was out of the question.

He stressed: “No member state is free to pick only those sectors of the single market it likes, nor to accept the rule of the ECJ only when it suits their interests.

“By the same token, a pick and mix approach for a non-member state is out of the question.

“We are not going to sacrifice these principles. It is simply not in our interests.”