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Barnier's team also worked in close coordination with the EU institutions, with regular briefings & reports to the EC, the Council and the EP. They quickly brought up the Irish border as one of the main issues (Varadker helped too), so that people in Brussels became more familiar with the issue than those in Westminster. It definitely helped cementing a common position for the EU27.

Also, it has to be said, the British political class did its absolute best to antagonize just about everyone in Europe, even in the countries that used to be considered as closest to the UK's position, like Sweden or the Netherlands. I mean, when even Mark Rutte is "visibly irritated" while comparing your political posturing to the Monty Python, you know you're in real deep.

Dutch PM compares Theresa May to Monty Python limbless knight

Mark Rutte, who appeared visibly irritated last week at the failure of MPs to pass the Brexit deal, admitted feeling "angry" at the impasse in Westminster.

He said his frustration was focused on the posturing of those seeking to make party political points during a major national crisis but praised May's "incredible" resilience in the face of repeated knock-backs in the House of Commons.

"Look, I have every respect for Theresa May," Rutte said in an interview with the Dutch broadcaster WNL on Sunday. "She reminds me occasionally of that character from Monty Python where all the arms and legs are cut off but he then tells the opponent: `Let's call it a draw.' She's incredible. She goes on and on. At the same time, I do not blame her, but British politics."

by Bernard on Sun Mar 17th, 2019 at 08:04:14 PM EST
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In other words, the EU side has been doing a negotiation process, while the UK has not. As far as I can tell, the UK hasn't worked out positions (not to be confused with red lines), so there has hardly been any situations where the UK could have tested the EU countries' resolve by offering compromises where on question A they offer to meet halfway if they get this and that on B and C. And then different countries and political groups might value A, B and C differently.

You know, actual negotiations, instead of demanding unicorns and that the EU breeds them.

by fjallstrom on Sun Mar 17th, 2019 at 11:59:11 PM EST
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