EU's fanatical bureaucrats made Brexit negotiations harder than they needed to be

IT didn’t need to be this hard.

As the Brexit negotiations roll on to the eleventh, twelfth and doubtless thirteenth hour, that is the thing to remember.

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The reason things have been this hard isn’t because this country doesn’t want a trading relationship with the EU.

It is because the EU has made it as hard as possible to come to any deal.

It is a tactic.

And part of a pattern at the top of the EU.

In the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote the EU went into denial and was led to believe (by some UK Remainers) Britain might not actually leave.

They underestimated us.

This country is a democracy where public votes count.

Fortunately last December we got a government in Westminster that recognised that seeing through the 2016 public vote was its priority.

Since then, if not before, the EU should have known it had to have a smooth trading relationship with us.

EU LED BY FANATICS

There is no reason why a deal should not have been possible.

It should have been the easiest trade deal ever.

Not least because our regulations are already aligned.

But the EU is led by fanatics.

Michel Barnier does not seem to have the interests of European businesses at heart.

By stretching negotiations to breaking point he is engaged in a game of “blink” with us.

He mistakenly believes the UK will not leave the EU without a deal.

But the real audience for his antics is not Britain but the 26 remaining members of the EU.

Barnier, President Macron, Jean-Claude Juncker and all the other most hardline EU leaders believe one thing matters above all.

That is for the public and governments of the remaining 26 states to see the difficulty of Britain leaving the EU.

Barnier hopes to make an example of us.

It is typically, woefully short-sighted.

Countries do not always enjoy the sight of being held hostage by bureaucrats.

It is also clearly in the interests of both sides to have a good, smooth deal.

Businesses want it.

Our politicians want it.

Most European politicians want it.

But it is a shame for them that they are represented by a man with other priorities.

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