Reality is biting
There was a sense in the UK both before and after the Brexit vote that the 27 remaining EU countries would value the UK’s market sufficient for them to prioritise a new economic relationship in negotiations. In practical terms that translated into a view that the Germans, for example, needed sales of BMW’s and Mercedes to the UK and would react accordingly. Well a recent RedC poll, commissioned by the EPP group seems to puncture that theory. Across nine of the 27 remaining EU countries it surveyed roughly nine thousand people and it has laid out its findings quite helpfully in simple graphics. There’s no mistaking the general view across all of them that the interests of the remaining 27 countries must come ahead of giving the UK a fair trading agreement and special privileged conditions post Brexit. The average is 78% – for the record Germany is higher at 80%. That is of course not saying the German’s don’t want to sell their cars more that if you want them you’ll have to pay for them.
And paying was another focus of the research. 88 percent of those surveyed believe a priority is ensuring that the UK settles any outstanding financial obligations to the EU. So when the negotiators for the 27 look behind them they can see fairly healthy support for their stated position. Marry that to a more cohesive EU post the French Presidential election and a hardening negotiation is hoving into view.