Published On: Sun, Feb 11th, 2018

Theresa May urged to REJECT Brussels' demands for curbs on post-Brexit trade deals

Campaigners last night called on the Prime Minister to stand up to Brussels bureaucrats trying to put the UK in an “unacceptable” position.

The Brexit Phase 1 negotiation document insists the UK must be bound by “sincere co-operation” during the two-year transition period.

According to pro-Brexit pressure group Change Britain, this clause limits the UK’s freedom to strike bold trade deals around the world.

The group’s chair, former Labour Party MP Gisela Stuart, said: “The EU’s current proposal includes a devious clause that will tie the hands of the UK, and threatens to leave us in perpetual transition.

“It’s vital that the UK is given the freedom to properly prepare for Brexit, allowing businesses time to adapt to our future trading arrangements.

“The Government must now wake up to the EU’s tactics, take action and make clear decisions. 

“If they fail, they risk leaving the UK in an unacceptable state of legal limbo.”

Mrs Stuart’s comments come amid claims that Mrs May could sensationally walk away from talks with Brussels.

European diplomats have reportedly urged Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, to tone down his “agressive” rhetoric towards the UK.

They fear the Frenchman’s tactics could cause the PM to quit negotations over a post-Brexit trade arrangement.

He sparked anger on Friday after claiming a transition period was “not a given”.

In response, one EU diplomat told the Sunday Telegraph: “Could anyone accept these terms?

“If I was Britain I would be tempted to say ‘no’, walk away and then see how the EU does without the money.”

And Tory minister Penny Mordaunt admitted other member states were becoming irritated by the European Commission’s hardline stance.

She said: “Other nations involved in this are very pragmatic and have not been impressed with some of the language that the Commission has used.”

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