Ever since we decided to leave the EU in 2016, all 28 member states agreed that it would be in all of our interests to continue to trade without tariffs and non-tariff barriers as we had done for the previous 45 years. To this day, I think the majority of our EU friends and neighbours would prefer to see friendly, cooperative trading relationships with such a major economic force as the UK.
The problem is the EU Commission.
It is filled with unelected bureaucrats whose mission is to further the European project – its willingness to promote the individual national interests of each member state has always been in question.
So does the Commission acknowledge that failing to secure a free trade deal with the UK will, for example, harm French farmers and German car manufacturers?
On the one hand they are offering us a free trade deal, but on the other hand, we can only have it if we sign up to their regulations and accept European Court of Justice oversight.
Not only that, but they want us to accept their rules around state aid and to allow their fishing interests to continue despite the UK becoming an independent coastal state.
So good on Boris for standing up to this bullying behaviour!
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I just hope that this won’t mean – once again – that what he is really seeking is for the UK to compromise and for the Commission to give nothing in return.
Mr Barnier and the European Commission need to understand that the people of the UK have decided to be an independent, sovereign nation once again and that means we decide our own rules, our own regulations and also who gets to fish in our waters.