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The European Union saw its Brexit punishing strategy dismantled as Mr Madison insisted the bloc will be losing “much more” should negotiations conclude in a no-deal scenario. The Estonian MEP pointed out the United Kingdom had suffered no major consequence from quitting the bloc despite claims from Brussels of the catastrophic impact Brexit would have on the economy. Speaking after arch-federalist Guy Verhosfstadt, Mr Madison said: “It’s always funny to hear the speeches of Mr Verhofstadt because he’s very active and funny, and they’re full of power.
“And he’s been saying for several years, since 2016, the UK Government is going to damaged because of Brexit, they’re going to lose everything.
“We’re going to put a lot of pressure on the UK but well…since 2016 they’ve been doing pretty fine, really.”
He hit out at Brussels’ attempts to juggle Brexit negotiations with the impact of the coronavirus crisis as well as the plans for the next seven years, insisting it would not be possible for the EU to secure a deal.
The Estonian MEP continued: “Unfortunately, the EU is trying to mix it with the Green Deal, climate history, some economic reforms to take out huge loans and they’re going more and more down.
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“In the meantime, the UK and Johnson are just playing with the EU.
“And the EU is trying to act like a tough guy but, at the same time, it couldn’t manage any normal deal.
“That’s why I wouldn’t take Mr Verhofstadt very seriously, and it’s pretty clear and understandable that if there is no deal before the end of the year the EU is losing much more than then the UK is doing.
“And, in some way, I’m really happy about that so congratulations to Mr Johnson.”
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Mr Madison’s dire forecast for the UK echoed the assessment of French MEP Nicolas Bay, who also hit out at the bloc for the perceived attempt to “punish the British people” because of Brexit.
The French politician said: “The consequences of a no-deal will be much worse for the EU than the UK.”
And addressing EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, he added: “You should have based your negotiations on fisheries
“It’s the UK that is showing that European institutions are leading to the collective weakness of our nations and our continent.”
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European Council President Charles Michel warned Boris Johnson the UK now faces “an important choice” about its own future as he insisted the EU is committed to securing a good deal for both sides.
Mr Michel said: “It’s not about choosing the negotiating tactics. It’s about choosing the model of their society for the future.
“Do our British friends want to regulate state aid and uphold high medical standards? If so, why not commit to them.”
He added: “Time is very short and we stand ready to negotiate 24/7, on all subjects, on legal texts.
“The UK has a bit of a decision to make and it’s their free and sovereign choice. Their sovereign answer will determine the level of access to our internal market.”
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