Britons are bored of being held to ransom by Brussels; the Referendum and the Conservative Government have repeatedly stated their intention to leave the EU absolutely in the friendliest and least disruptive way possible for both sides. UK has offered £20 billion, Brussels want £60 billion-plus, but without the co-operation needed in negotiations. UK could walk away, without paying a settlement at all. The bureaucrats in Brussels routinely disparage British efforts, leaving Westminster with no choice but to resort to the no-deal option or establish WTO rules and to question if Brussels really wants an ongoing special partnership with the UK.

According to James Holland, writing for CapX, five of the six founding member states have the most to lose by a no-deal, as their exports would drop significantly. Kris Peeters, Belgium Economy Minister, reckons the EU27 as a whole would lose 1,200,000 jobs. Holland and others believe the EU’s hostility to Brexit stems from a necessity to stamp out Euroscepticism in the other member states and extinguish any further ideas of secession. It is a fact that Britain’s annual contribution, when withdrawn, will leave Germany largely responsible for the recipients holding out their hands for subsidies and EU pensions floundering.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Theresa May looked despondent and begged Jean Claude Juncker for help during a private dinner. The leak was pointed at Martin Selmayr, Juncker’s Chief of Staff and champion of European federalism. This is the second leak aimed at making May look foolish, pointed at Selmayr. 

He denied the accusations and a very unstable looking Juncker, clinging to the rail whilst walking upstairs, conceded it would be out of character for May to beg.

An editorial in Politico claims that Selmayr is virtually directing Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile, Juncker’s ambitions and reputation as a “heavy drinker” grow; allegedly Juncker plans to expand EU powers, including blocking member states from using their veto powers in areas that typically demand unanimous agreement, viz taxation.

It remains to be seen who is calling the shots, a punitive EU or an independent Britain.

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