‘SEVERE consequences’ Michel Barnier in new threat to Brexit Britain over EU exit

THE EU’s chief Brexit negotiator provoked fury today by warning of “severe consequences” if Britain quits the EU without agreeing a departure deal with Brussels.

Diplomat Michel Barnier raised the spectre of chaos at airports and Dover should talks between Theresa May‘s Government and EU bosses break down without agreement.The Frenchman even claimed the UK’s energy supplies could be hit by “the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material” across the Channel.And he insisted that Britain must agree to huge payments to Brussels before talks on a trade deal can begin.

BrexitGETTY   Michel Barnier makes blistering threat to Brexit Britain over EU exit

This is another part of Project Fear Round Two, and Brussels is acting in a bully-boy manner

Richard Tice

His remarks dramatically raised diplomatic tensions last night ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected triggering of the EU’s Article 50 exit mechanism this Wednesday.A hand-delivered letter from Mrs May to EU Council President Donald Tusk formally asking for the departure process to commence is to arrive at 12.30pm today.Anti-Brussels campaigners last night accused Mr Barnier of reviving the “Project Fear” scaremongering tactics used in the run up to last year’s EU referendum.

Richard Tice, co-chair of the pressure group Leave Means Leave, said: “This is another part of Project Fear Round Two, and Brussels is acting in a bully-boy manner.

Donald TuskGETTY    Mr Tusk is set to receive a letter from Mrs May formally asking for the departure process to begin

“The truth is an unspoken fear in Brussels that Britain can walk away and do very nicely thank you under World Trade Organisation rules, like other great trading nations around the world.“The British Government has made it very clear that it wants to do a deal with the EU and remain on friendly terms with our European neighbours.“Everyone in business knows that no deal is better than a bad deal.

“The aggressive rhetoric that has been adopted by Barnier is unwelcome and should be ignored. Maturity is required by all as they go into these negotiations.”

Tory MP Gareth Johnson said: “Countries outside the EU manage to deal with these issues quite comfortably, so I don’t see why we should suffer any detrimental consequences from Brexit.

Theresa MayGETTY    Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 exit mechanism this Wednesday

“This is another example of the people who regret our leaving the EU trying to find any reason at all to pour scorn on our prospects and to undermine the departure process.”Maria Caulfield, another Tory MP and a member of the Commons EU Exit Committee, said: “The Prime Minister has been clear, the Government will achieve the best possible deal for the UK and its people as we leave the EU but a good deal for the UK will also be a good deal for the remaining EU members given our current trading relationship with them.”It is in everybody’s interest to make this work and so I would urge Mr Barnier to be in listening mode as negotiations begin.

“Walking away with no deal is an option if the proposals on the table aren’t in the interests of the British people but I am sure with the negotiating skills of Mr Barnier a good deal for both sides can be achieved.”

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, is today scheduled to deliver the Article 50 letter from the Prime Minister to Mr Tusk’s office in Brussels today.

David DavisGETTY      Mr Davis and Mr Barnier will battle over the terms of the UK’s future relationship with Brussels

The move will start a two-year negotiating period leading up to Britain’s expected withdrawal from the European bloc in March 2019.Mrs May is due to make a statement to MPs at Westminster confirming the historic step minutes after the letter is handed over.Mr Barnier is then set to go head-to-head with EU Exit Secretary David Davis in the negotiations on the terms of the UK’s future relationship with Brussels.

Ahead of the opening of their talks, the EU diplomat pledged to be “firm but fair” in defending the interests of the remaining 27 member states.

In an article in the Financial Times newspaper, the veteran French politician wrote: “It goes without saying that a no-deal scenario, while a distinct possibility, would have severe consequences for our people and our economies.


“It would undoubtedly leave the UK worse off.”He added: “Severe disruption to air transport and long queues at the Channel port of Dover are just some of the many examples of the negative consequences of failing to reach a deal.”Others include the disruption of supply chains, including the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material to the UK.”

Mr Barnier insisted it was in the interests of both sides in the negotiations to achieve an “orderly” British withdrawal from the EU.

Key priorities in the talks included the rights of 4.5million EU citizens, both migrants living in the UK and British expats living in other European countries, to remain where they currently live.

Britain will also face financial payments to Brussels, Mr Barnier insisted.

“Beneficiaries of programmes financed by the EU budget will need to know if they can continue relying on our support,” the Frenchman said.He declined to put a figure on the payment, although Brussels sources have indicated the sum could be up to £60billion.”There is no price to pay to leave the EU but we must settle our accounts,” Mr Barnier said.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman responded to Mr Barnier’s remarks by insisting the Government was approaching the forthcoming negotiations “in a spirit of goodwill”.

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Is it just me. But they seem to be acting like frightened idiots scared that when the money stops flowing from the UK they are dead in the water, France wont want to make up the shortfall and nor will Germany, It is a failed experiment going the way all empires go sooner or later and it should just be allowed to die with as much grace as it can muster.

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