And Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has said the loss of Britain as a trading partner would cause colossal damage to the bloc. Mr Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, was commenting after Geert Bourgeois, trade spokesman with European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, warned fellow MEPs not to patronise Britain.
Belgian Mr Bourgeois also voiced his concern at the prospect of the UK becoming a low tax-driven tiger economy analogous to Singapore.
Mr Kawczynski said Mr Bourgeois’s remarks indicated the penny was beginning to drop on the continent about the risk the loss of the UK posed to the economies of individual countries.
He added: “Many on the continent now realise how an unrealistic and poorly managed approach by Commission could severely hurt their economies.
“For such a large trading partner as Britain to recalibrate its global trading policy away from EU towards America and fast growing economies around world would be very damaging for them.”
The consequences for the EU should not be underestimated, Mr Kawczynski said.
He stressed: “They need to convince Barnier to be more realistic before it’s too late for them.”
“But, ultimately, the path to a deal now depends on the EU’s willingness to change the tone of the negotiations.
“The jury is out on EU leaders’ ability or inclination to do this.”
Mr Bourgeois, who was elected as an MEP in 2019, said: “The European Parliament should take extreme care so as not to patronise the British Government.
“The UK is a highly developed country with high standards.
“Therefore, a high level of confidence and flexibility during the negotiations is in order.”
He added: “We need to strike an appropriate balance between ensuring a level-playing field and dynamic alignment on the one hand, and guaranteeing UK sovereignty on the other.
“We should, however, absolutely avoid a ‘Singapore-on-the-North Sea’.
“Both parties must maintain high standards for this level-playing field and in so doing we must, therefore, ensure that it does indeed become a deep and comprehensive future agreement with zero-tariffs and zero-quotas.”
The Singapore model is generally defined as an ultra-business-friendly, low taxation environment intended to persuade businesses to relocate to the UK.
On Friday Michael Gove confirmed the UK would not extend the Brexit transition period, which comes to a close at the end of this year.
Published at Fri, 12 Jun 2020 21:00:00 +0000