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    The European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, front left, and Charles Flanagan, center, Minister for Foreign Affairs walk along the Irish border close to Castleblayney, Ireland, Friday, May 12, 2017.

    Prospect of No-Deal Brexit Scenario Over 50% as UK Keeps Changing Demands - Prof

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    EU negotiators are reportedly fearful Britain’s secret service may have bugged Brexit negotiations as the UK continues to stall talks. Sputnik discussed the issue with Professor Dermot Cahill, Chair in Commercial Law, Head of Bangor University Law School.

    Sputnik: Jeremy Hunt has said that a risk of a no-deal Brexit is rising and everyone needs to prepare. Is Britain heading towards a no deal Brexit?

    Dermot Cahill: The odds are at the moment that Britain could be well be heading for no-deal Brexit, which would be disastrous for the UK; simply because for the last year to 18 months, the negotiations have been chaotic on the UK’s side. The European’s position about what they want is very clear, whereas the UK is constantly coming up with new proposals and changing its position and as you know it’s very hard to negotiate with someone who keeps changing their position but who is also unsure or seems [to be] unsure of what they want. At the moment, because March is only a few months away now, it looks like the odds of a no-deal Brexit are certainly more than 50% at the moment, which is really a disastrous position for the UK to be placing us in, given that its nearest and biggest markets are just across the English Channel. 

    READ MORE: EU Suspects UK Intel of Bugging Brexit Talks – Reports

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts of Theresa May and the current Conservative government's handling of the Brexit negotiations?

    Dermot Cahill: I think that the government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations has been very poor. Theresa May, who was a Remainer herself and is now leading a government that wants the UK to leave the EU, is in an invidious position. Her own supporters are constantly undermining her ability to negotiate by forcing her to change her negotiating strategy periodically. Between attacks undermining her from Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, who all want different things, and of course Michael Gove; it’s impossible to put out a strong position. Again, as I say, the Europeans know what they want. They want to preserve the integrity of the internal market, whereas what Britain is doing is its trying pick an à la carte departure package to interact with Europe after Brexit that they just can’t accommodate.

    READ MORE: Brexit Deal Likely to Be Delayed, at Risk of Being Nixed by UK Parl't — Study

    Sputnik: We've experienced lots of gridlock and stalls from Brussels… What impact does this have on the Brexit negotiations?

    Dermot Cahill: That is a total misrepresentation of the Brexit negotiations. The EU position has remained quite unchanged since the very start of the Brexit process. What Britain is doing is looking for a deal that content of which, no one knows what it is. Britain, Theresa May and her government keep changing their demands – their demands have changed on multiple occasions.

    The people putting barriers in the way are actually the Leave side because they are unable to agree on exactly what kind of Brexit they want. The EU has been very clear about their demands… They want their money that Britain still owes the EU, they want the Irish border issue to be settled and they want to settle the position of EU citizens living in Britain to be clarified, will their rights be maintained? Britain has been unable to give clarity on these three issues and I would say the uncertainty is the UK side and not on EU side.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

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