Barnier Threatens to "Teach The British People What It Means To Leave The EU"

In what appears to be a clear threat, Michel Barnier, the EU's Brexit negotiator has said he sees the process as an opportunity to "teach the British people and others what leaving the EU means".

Michel Barnier said he would never resort to blackmail but saw it as his job to "educate" the UK about the price it would pay for leaving the EU "club".

The UK has hit back, saying the EU does "not want to talk about the future", Brexit Secretary David Davis said the EU was  "frightened" and that the UK would not be intimidated into a divorce bill deal.

The latest salvos come after a week of talks in Brussels about the UK's withdrawal from the EU served only to increase tensions between the two sides. 

The EU suggested little substantive progress had been made on three key "separation" issues, the size of the UK's financial liabilities to the EU, the future of the Irish border and citizens' rights after Brexit.

Mr Barnier accused the UK of "nostalgia" and cast doubt on whether enough progress had been made to broaden the discussions, in the autumn, to consider the UK's post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU.

This led to a cold response from British ministers: International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, warned the UK would not be blackmailed into doing a deal on money in order to open discussions on trade.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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