Good afternoon. As political turmoil engulfs Theresa May’s government, you might think David Davis and his team are glad to be escaping on the Eurostar to Brussels, where the sixth round of negotiations began today. Unfortunately they won’t find much peace and quiet there (though the pugnacious Mr Davis is rarely looking for that), for it appears the EU is planning an ambush.
Frustrated with the deadlock, Brussels plans to “shake the tree” and force businesses to relocate to Europe if Downing Street fails to make an early move to settle the so-called ‘Brexit bill’.” That’s according to my colleague Peter Foster, who has spoken to senior officials in Brussels and various European capitals.
EU chiefs, egged on by France and Germany, know they could push Britain to breaking point if they refused to declare sufficient progress by December. This could lead to a climate of greater uncertainty in London that would make businesses feel compelled to jump ship.
It’s an interesting shift in tone from EU leaders. Shortly after Brexit, there was talk of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, luring businesses into the arms of Europe with the shiny carrot of Thatcherite labour reforms. Now, with those reforms bogged down by France’s notoriously aggressive unions, the emphasis seems to be on scaring firms away from Britain.
Could this mean that France and Germany, who are the ones piling on the pressure in these talks, have abandoned the carrot and are now resorting to the stick?
via The Telegraph