‘No deal is EU’s WORST nightmare’ Former MEP unleashes threat to Brussels

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Negotiations between the UK and the EU are already on the brink as the fourth round of post-Brexit talks near an end – with outstanding issues over a comprehensive free-trade deal, fisheries and regulations among the major stumbling blocks. By the end of this month and the midway point of talks, both sides must decide whether to prolong discussions beyond December 31 – something Downing Street has constantly rejected.

The lack of progress in discussions has already prompted panic from within the EU with Michel Barnier offering the UK a delay of up to two years.

Former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe, 62, has insisted alarm bells have already begun in Brussels and insisted a no deal outcome will be the worse-case scenario for the EU.

The UK officially left the European Union in January but remain tied to Brussels’ regulations during the 11-month transition period.

The leading Brexiteer has called for a clean-break from the EU and claimed Britain leaving the single market and customs union will cause “catastrophic consequences for Europe”.

He told Westmonster: “By the end of this month we will know if the Government has the strength to follow through on what needs to be done.

“If they refuse to extend the transition period and commit fully to a December 31 break I will be the first to congratulate them along with all my Brexit Party colleagues.

“Be in no doubt, leaving with no deal is the EU’s worst nightmare.

“Do they want an island of swashbuckling Anglo-Saxon pirates running a low-tax, low-regulation business haven on their doorstep?

“Of course not. It would show up their centrally planned model for what it is – sclerotic, unaccountable, overbearing and totally outdated.

“The Euro is economically unjustifiable and will collapse with catastrophic consequences for Europe.”

The EU’s Brexit negotiator and head of taskforce Michel Barnier, last week offered the UK a delay for up to 24 months in a letter to opposition party leaders.

The EU chief has attempted to shackle the UK to Brussels throughout the negotiations by insisting on so-called “level-playing field” between the two sides – tying the UK to EU regulations beyond the transition period.

Following the third round of Brexit talks, the Government published its draft legal texts which outlined the UK’s plan to strike a free-trade deal with the European Union.

Mr Barnier has since accused the UK’s Brexit negotiating team of wanting the “best of both worlds” by retaining the conditions of being an EU member while leaving the single market and customs union.

Mr Barnier said: “The British have not understood or do not want to understand that Brexit has consequences for them. For us too. But also for them.

“That after leaving the EU, they cannot have the same conditions and status as when they were members of the European Union. That is your choice.

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“It is difficult for them to accept the consequences of Brexit, there should be more realism in London in the near future if they want an orderly agreement to exit the single market and customs union.”

This afternoon Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has maintained there is “ample time” for the UK and EU to reach an agreement, and stated Germany’s forthcoming presidency of the EU will bring the “leadership” needed.

Mr Gove told MPs: “The detailed work that has been undertaken by both sides should not be set aside or diminished.

“All that is required is political will, imagination and flexibility.

“I believe certainly with the advent of the German presidency of the European Union on July 1 that we will see the leadership required in order to guarantee that we secure the agreement we need.”

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