"Precious few allies left": EU's deputy chief negotiator tweets link to damning think piece

Catherine Neilan
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Perhaps if you'd brought some paperwork to the meeting, David...? (Source: Getty)

The EU's deputy chief Brexit negotiator Sabine Weyand has given a hint of just how badly David Davis and co are perceived on Brussels' side of the table this morning, tweeting a link to a pretty damning article.

So far, the UK's approach in the talks has "burned many bridges and there are precious few allies and friends left", the article, by think tank European Policy Centre claims. "The longer this approach prevails, the harder will it be to turn the situation around."

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At this stage, a viable deal will be possible "only if the UK is willing to make significant concessions," author Fabian Zuleeg writes.

"Even a transition deal will require the UK to accept the EU27’s conditions," he adds. "Some in the UK might argue that under those circumstances, no deal is better, even if it imposes economic and political costs. That is a choice. But having the cake and eating it too is not a choice the EU27 will allow."

And while it would be bad for the remaining members of the EU to end talks with no deal in place, it would be worse for the UK "and not something that needs to be avoided at all costs," he claims.

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The remaining 27 EU countries will be willing to accept this as a lesser of two evils, in order to protect the unity of the EU27, the integrity of the Single Market and the future of European integration.

"A deal, including a transition arrangement, will only be possible if the UK accepts the EU’s red lines while, at least temporarily, breaking the promises made to the UK electorate, as well as accepting a safeguard mechanism to prevent the UK reneging on its commitments, given the lack of constitutional provisions to bind Westminster to any deal," Zuleeg adds.

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