UKIP Member on EU Brexit Negotiator: He’s Putting Obstacles in the Way of a Deal

© AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert / European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives the keynote address on Brexit during a conference to mark the launch of the Centre for European Reform's new office in Brussels
European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives the keynote address on Brexit during a conference to mark the launch of the Centre for European Reform's new office in Brussels - Sputnik International
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said he is strongly opposed to key parts of Theresa May's proposals for a future trade deal. Sputnik spoke to David Kurten, a UKIP London Assembly Member, about the comments by Michel Barnier.

Sputnik: What do you make of the comments by Michel Barnier?

David Kurten: I think he’s putting obstacles in the way of a deal, but at the same time he’s criticizing Theresa May’s Chequers plan, but that’s been universally criticized here as well in the UK. It’s unworkable, it gives everyone the worst possibilities, so I don’t disagree with him for criticizing the Chequers plan, and it’s no good for anybody. He is trying to say if you don’t do exactly what he wants then there will be consequences for the car manufacturing industry in the UK and this is part of project fear, trying to make us stay in line with what the EU wants.

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Sputnik: What do you make of yesterday David Davis and this morning Boris Johnson attacking the Chequers agreement?

David Kurten: There are lots of other people that have disagreed as well: Jacob Rees-Mogg has disagreed, I’m in UKIP so we would all disagree with it too, and they’re right, it would give us a worse deal. It would be a worse situation, than if we had actually stayed in. We would have to be adhering to a lot of the EU’s rules and regulations, we would be a rule taker but we wouldn’t have a seat on the commission or in the (European) Parliament to be able to shape those rules, so basically we would be a vassal state of the EU. We would not have our independence back; we would not have our sovereignty back. The customs partnership that Theresa May is talking about, gives us the worst of all worlds, so I think the Chequers deal isn’t going to fly at all. In a way I don’t agree with a lot of what Mr. Barnier has to say, but he is basically saying that the EU is not going to agree to the Chequers deal either, so I think its dead in the water and (that's) a very good thing.

A Scottish Saltire (C) flies between a Union flag (L) and a European Union (EU) flag in front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 27, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Sputnik: Is there a chance that Theresa May’s Chequers plan will be agreed upon with the EU or do you think there won’t be an agreement?

David Kurten: It’s not looking likely that there is an agreement and I think that’s a good thing because we will come out on to WTO rules; I think if we do that, very soon afterwards we will get rid of Theresa May, she’s been a terrible negotiator. Mr. Barnier, although I don’t agree with him, is a far better negotiator than her because he is saying everything he wants and Theresa May is saying ok, what more do you want as well. If we come out on WTO rules I think business in the EU, will very very quickly put pressure on the EU Commission and on the EU Parliament to reach a sensible deal, which is what we’ve said all along in UKIP. We should offer the EU a free trade agreement in goods, services and capital but not freedom of movement of people. We shouldn’t have to pay for it, we shouldn’t have to obey all the judgements of the European Court of Justice either. That’s a win-win situation, which would be mutually beneficial and I hope that is what happens.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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