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Tuesday 10 March 2020

Britain sets the agenda

The Sun reports the UK will present a “suite” of deals on trade, fisheries and other key issues during the next round of talks with the EU.

London will host negotiations next week and British officials are wary of the trap Theresa May fell into. In failing to lay any firm red lines, the previous PM allowed Brussels to run riot with its demands.

“The UK expects to table a number of legal texts, including a draft free trade area,” said Cabinet minister Michael Gove. Brussels is angling for a single deal covering all areas – the bigger the deal, the more it will be able to justify intrusive powers for its courts.

Britain is combatting the EU’s desperation to keep the UK tied to its punishing rules and courts by compartmentalizing the various arrangements in separate deals.

UK negotiators plan to deliver the pre-prepared draft agreements as a way of taking the initiative and drilling down on British red lines, the most important being that from 2021 the country must decide its own rules, without influence from Brussels.

Von der Leyen deluded

The UK needs to go on the front foot for the benefit of both sides. Brussels still refuses to acknowledge Britain wants a standard trade deal.

Yesterday, Ursula von der Leyen astonishingly claimed the UK is not telling the EU what it wants – we encourage her to read Britain’s black and white 36-page negotiating mandate and explain what is exactly isn’t clear (see also, quote of the day).

“We are aware that there are differences in the approach towards what scope should the future agreement have and what are –  if I may say so –  the rules of the game everybody has to abide to,” said the European Commission president without clarifying what those rules are exactly.

“So it will be important that the UK makes up its mind – the closer they want to have access to the single market, the more they have to play by the rules that are the rules of the single market.

Idiotic quote of the day

“In these difficult times, we all sense that people and member states are asking for more Europe. Yet without a new budget, we will not be able to respond appropriately.”

Ursula von der Leyen’s solution to the coronavirus is more Europe and more money. Her predecessors would be proud.