Theresa May will be pleased to hear Germany are likely to side with Britain
It follows reports that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is believed to favour a divorce-first approach with Britain – meaning the Government’s plans to strike an EU trade deal by the end of 2018 could be dealt a fatal blow.
Germany is said to be worried Britain will just walk away if Europe attempts to bully them into accepting the enormous exit bill for existing funding commitments, pensions and other liabilities, the Times reported.
Countries such as Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Denmark could see their economies go into recession if Britain crashes out of the EU without an agreement.
Even cabinet ministers who voted to remain say it will be incredibly hard to defend talks that only revolve around a massive bill from Brussels.
David Davis has rubbished reports the EU will be able to stall trade discussions
The UK has to clearly outline how it sees its future with the European Union
Angela Merkel, speaking last year, said: “The UK has to clearly outline how it sees its future with the European Union. These have to be parallel processes.
“You can’t completely cut off the bonds and then after a long, winding negotiating process come up with how one sees the future relationship. So a good negotiating process is in all of our interests.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis is thought to favour divorce talks with the EU "in parallel" and has rubbished Mr Barnier’s “sequential” plans as they do not “seem practical”.
German officials are very aware that thrusting the huge costs upon Britain could have explosive consequences, leaving future trade negotiations to be governed by World Trade Organisation terms.
Remoaner-in-chief: Blair's Views on Brexit Fri, February 17, 2017
Blair will just not give up.
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'It can be stopped, if the British people decide that having seen what it means, the pain-gain analysis doesn’t stack up'
The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, speaking at the weekend, said: “We should resist the temptation to treat Britain overly harshly – not out of pity but in our own interest.”
“We need Britain, for example, as a partner in security policy and I am also convinced that Britain needs us.”
France are less connected to the British economy and are keen to push for a really tough Brexit deal
British negotiators should be warned though, as David Cameron routinely relied on Merkel and Germany to back them in Europe before turning on them. Primarily the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the commission.
French officials are hell-bent on making the UK honour its financial commitments as a first step while Spain favours early discussions about future relations with post-Brexit Britain.
One EU diplomat said: “If we don’t get them down to earth early in the game then we never will.”