The President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, has today rejected Theresa May's vision of how a post Brexit UK/EU relationship would look.
The EU Council president put forward draft negotiation guidelines today that limits the options for a future relationship to a free trade deal only.
“It should come as no surprise that the only remaining possible option is a free trade agreement. – he said in Luxembourg today – I hope that it will be ambitious and advanced and we will do our best… Anyway it will only be a trade agreement.”
“A pick and mix approach for a nonmember state is out of the question. We are not going to sacrifice these principles. It’s simply not in our interest.”
The draft guidelines have yet to be negotiated and agreed by the EU27 but do mention trade in services to a degree, but it makes no specific reference to financial services, which the UK is of course keen to see included in any deal.
UKIP Interim leader Gerard Batten MEP said in response:
"The EU wants to have its cake and to eat it. Their published guidelines today should be unacceptable to the British government and to the 17.4 million people who voted leave. It is clearly not in the national interest to accept a free trade deal which does not involve financial services."
And in his contribution to The Road to Brexit speeches, the UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond, today laid out why the EU should include financial services in any Brexit deal.
Consumers and businesses across the EU would pay the cost if an attempt was made to break up the City's European role he said.
He also said that this was not a zero sum game where some EU financial centres would benefit from a breakup of the City of London, the spoils were far more likely to go to New York or Singapore he said.
He also pointed out that the depth and experience of the City could not be mapped, let alone replicated, so it would be in everyone's interests to include financial services in the deal.
But while Eurocrats reject all of our proposals, they have come out with some cherry picking demands of their own.
Not only do the new guidelines say our relationship will be limited, they say that any partnership should cover "…. trade and economic co-operation as well as other areas, in particular the fight against terrorism and international crime, as well as security, defence and foreign policy."
The new EU Council guideline also demands “reciprocal access and resources” in UK fishing waters in exchange for market access.
UKIP MEP Mike Hookem, who has been saying for weeks that the UK fishing industry will be bargained away again, said:
"With a weak Prime Minister and feeble range of Ministers at the helm of negotiations, what hope do our already embattled and embittered coastal communities have of a post-Brexit renaissance for the UK fishing industry."
And after calling this latest move by the EU a grab to secure EU dominance, he went on to say:
"However, I'm in no doubt that Mrs May will roll-over and allow the EU to continue its dominance of the UK's fishing industry even after we leave the bloc.
"Given these ridiculous demands, my message to Theresa May is to show some British spirit and tell the EU where to go.
"It is about time the Prime Minister realised that the proud British people are sick and tired of being pushed around by the 'cultured thugs' of the EU and reclaiming our fishing industry would be a bloody good place to start the fightback!"
And former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage said:
“Unless we take back full ownership and control of our waters, Brexit will have been betrayed. Our coastal fishing communities have this one last chance. Time for Mrs May to handbag Barnier and say we will take our waters back. This is the acid test of Brexit.”
All I can see is the EU continuing its push to take as much of our money as they can while maintaining control of our seas and then actually grabbing control of Northern Ireland as well UK foreign and defence policy in the process. And all our government seems to want to ensure is that the EU single market is protected – by us – and also that the other EU member states can continue to enjoy selling us more than we sell them.
This isn't negotiation, it's capitulation – and not because the UK is in a weak position, but because far too many people in high places in the UK, aided and abetted by many useful idiots, have become institutionalised by the EU and actually still put the interests of the EU far and above those of the UK.
And as far as I am concerned these people have been selling this country out brick by brick for decades and it has to stop!