'Enormous arrogance' German MEP rages at Barnier for 'unfair' Brexit strategy towards UK

A GERMAN MEP has ripped into the European Union and its chief negotiators for the “unfair” way they have treated the UK in Brexit talks. Hans-Olaf Henkel, a member of the Liberal-Conservative Reformers, part of the European Conservatives and Reformists, has criticised Michel Barnier for the way he has managed Brexit negotiations. Mr Henkel claimed the European Union’s approach to Brexit talks was “illogical” during his LBC interview with Matt Frei. The German MEP also said that the EU was trying to give the impression that they were “punishing” the UK, in fear more member states may leave the bloc. He said: “The whole strategy by Barnier is in my view unfair to Britain. “I said from the outset I am against Brexit but I do support the vote of the British people. I think they should give a fair deal to Britain. “The very fact that the whole game plan of what should be agreed upon first until you get to the second, third and fourth stage, has not been developed jointly by Britain and the EU, it has been forced down the throat of Britain by the EU. “If you have a trade deal between country A and country B, both parties have to agree on the sequence of the agreement and negotiations, this has not been an agreement.” The host, Frei, asked whether this was the European Union trying to warn other countries in the bloc “do not try this at home”. The German MEP agreed, insisting that EU chiefs were “scared stiff” of the bloc crumbling. He said: “I am convinced that this is that case. These europhiles Barnier… most of the people in Brussels, they are absolutely scared stiff that some other country might get the idea and try to leave the European Union. “They are trying to give the impression that they want to punish the British, I am surprised by the enormous arrogance. The British government should point out the illogical sequence of items to be discussed. “You cannot have a border agreement between Northern Ireland and Ireland without knowing what kind of trade or customs you will have. This is illogical.” The comments come after the sixth round of Brexit talks where Mr Barnier gave the UK a two-week deadline to offer clarification on the financial settlement to get talks moving by December. The Frenchman said: “Only sufficient progress - that is to say sincere and real progress - on the three main key issues of these negotiations will enable the triggering of the second phase of our negotiation.” David Davis said it was time for the European Union and the United Kingdom to both show some flexibility, imagination and willingness" to handle the deadlock in talks. The European Union have reiterated that it will not begin trade talks with Britain unless “sufficient progress” has been made in its key three issues of the Irish border, citizens rights and the divorce settlement.

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