Last week, a report was leaked saying that attempts to punish Britain for having the audacity to want to be an independent nation could backfire on individual EU nations and cause them ‘economic difficulties’ as our contributions fill a dirty great hole in their budget that would have to – surprise, surprise! – be made good by raiding the coffers of the remaining 27.
Poland is concerned about reduced exports ‘especially agricultural and agri-food products’ not to mention the employment prospect for their builders, electricians, plumbers and fruit pickers who frequent the UK market place.
Holland’s fishing sector is very worried about the prospect of losing access to UK waters, with the provinces of Flevoland and Overijssel predicting a potential drop of 60 per cent in fishing business. Ditto the Spanish trawler operators. Hull’s fishermen are understandable quite happy at the prospect of rebuilding their ailing businesses…
In the French region of Hauts-de-France – the birthplace of President Emmanuel Macron – they’re worried a punishment Brexit deal would harm their car manufacturing sector. VW and Mercedes in Germany are equally worried given the large percentage of their sales that are made in the UK.
And while all this is going on, the Germans can’t form a government leaving the poor old Great Germanian project floundering around like a headless chicken.
Indeed, it seems to be dawning on the EU that the failure to strike a deal with Britain is going to hurt them a lot more than it’s going to hurt us. The mystery is why it has taken so long for the penny to drop. We’ve all known for some time that we have a huge trade surplus with the EU and that the imposition of WTO tariffs after Brexit would bring in billions in extra tax revenues. We’ve all known that we are a huge contributor to the EU budget.
So they need a deal. The reality is that frankly we could do quite nicely without one…