If the EU wanted a workable deal with the UK on Brexit, they would have delivered one by now.
The two sides are close allies, after all. And the UK isn’t even part of the eurozone, which makes negotiations to leave the block that much easier.
We can only surmise that the EU — and powerful, vested interests within the UK — don’t want to see Brexit eventuate. Many politicians on both sides of the Channel have said as much.
Certainly, the EU pays lip service towards its efforts to move forward.
As reported by the Associated Press, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said British Prime Minister Theresa May ‘is, as we are, decided to have the deal, and we will have a deal.’
Delays could mean a second referendum
Yet at every turn EU negotiators throw up more roadblocks. More unresolved issues, often focused on how to handle the Irish border.
If they can stall and delay long enough, this could push frustrated British voters to demand a second referendum. One that polls indicate would return a ‘remain’ result if it were held today.
Playing the delay game — perhaps with that second referendum in mind — Michel Barnier, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator, says major gaps still need to be bridged. To add to the sense of urgency and frustration he says time is running out to secure a deal.
Barnier told the Associated Press that ‘we need much more work’ to clinch an agreement.
Once more, disagreement over how to handle trade across the Irish border is the main sticking point Barnier has chosen to fall back on.
The UK is meant to say goodbye to the EU on 29 March. But parliament still needs time to endorse any deal…and time is running short.
Keeping the heat on UK negotiators and an increasingly frustrated populace, Barnier wouldn’t comment on whether there’s been enough progress to convene an EU Brexit summit in November.
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