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Part of me feels the EU is responding so mildly because they just can't bring themselves to take Boris and his threats very seriously. Part of me feels the EU doesn't quite appreciate how much the EU is undermining the EU's whole raison d'etre and system of legitimacy. This still has the potential to go pear shaped in a big way unless clear and decisive action is taken.

As I explained elsewhere, the EU cannot do anything other than "going by the book"; and that means starting infringement proceedings at the CJEU and also continuing the negotiations with the UK - certainly not giving B.Johnson an excuse for putting all the blame of a no-deal on the EU breaking the negotiations before the end of the year.

As Barnier puts it:

This said, the lack of audible noise from the EU officials and member countries does not mean they are not preparing for a no-deal come January 1. I even suspect that many EU countries preparedness plans are more advanced than the UK's "administration". Showing any hint of WTO or punitive tarifs on UK exports next year will only help the Brexiters as casting the EU even further into the villain's role. Even though everybody should be well aware that's exactly what will happen in three month's time.

by Bernard on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 01:58:43 PM EST
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