‘Prepare for NO DEAL’ EU negotiator Barnier warns EU27 Brexit talks could COLLAPSE

MICHEL Barnier today put the boot into the British Government when he accused ministers of not telling UK businesses the “whole truth” about the consequences of Brexit.

EU chief negotiator Michel BarnierGETTY

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier

In an incendiary speech which appeared to taunt Downing Street about its infamous impact assessments the EU’s chief negotiator said “friction” in any future trading relationship is inevitable.

He quoted figures showing that Germany does 10 times more trade with the rest of the EU than it does with the UK in a clear rebuke to Brexiteers talking up the importance of our relationship with Berlin.

And he issued a clear warning to German businesses to prepare for the possibility of a no deal Brexit, despite eurocrats saying much progress has been made in recent days.

The remarks, in his second speech of the day, came after he infuriated UK officials with an earlier address in which he accused Britain of abandoning the bloc in its hour of need.

The Frenchman said that the EU had faced a series of devastating terror attacks but that “rather than stay shoulder to shoulder with the Union, the British chose to be on their own again”.

His comments have enraged the British team at the most sensitive time of the Brexit talks, with sufficient progress now in sight, with one official saying they were “irrational, stupid and need calling out”.

In a speech marking German employers’ day in Berlin, Mr Barnier also reiterated his calls for a “role” for the European Court of Justice in policing the Brexit agreement.

And he insisted that Britain would have to face the “consequences” of its decision to leave the Single Market and Customs Union, including coming up with a solution for the Irish border.

He said: “I don’t know if the whole truth has been explained to British businesses on the concrete consequences of Brexit. My responsibility before you and everywhere in Europe is to tell the truth to European businesses.

“It is our collective responsibility to succeed in these negotiations on the withdrawal, united as 27, then together to put into place an ambitious partnership with the United Kingdom. That is our wish.”

But he warned: “It is equally important for each undertaking to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario, implying a return to customs tariffs under WTO rules, not to mention border control procedures without any facility.

“Whatever the outcome of the current negotiations, there will be no business as usual. A trading relationship with a country that does not belong to the European Union obviously involves friction.”

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They want to screw us to discourage other countries from leaving, plus our leaving leaves a big hole in their finances which the remaining 27 don’t want to to have to stump up. Oh, and those poor unelected bureaucrats might find their lifestyles affected.

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