As the Eurozone economy struggles, with at least one member in a recession, the EU can no more afford a no-deal Brexit than the UK, says Norman Bagley, head of policy at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).
The Brexit bandwagon rolls on, but rather than the inertia of the last few months, things are starting to get narrowed down and focused.
Theresa May has had little to celebrate over the last year with what’s become known as ‘Brit bashing’ the order of the day. Perhaps she deserved it, but it all looked confected and overdone.
This has come from an arrogant EU Commission, some compliant member states and willing accomplices in the Irish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney.
As readers will know, I have always thought the role of Dublin would be critical.
Would they join in bashing Britain, the country which is a huge and vital export market for them, or side with the EU Commission on the basis that if things got nasty (no deal) the Commission would, as they have been saying, ‘stand four square behind Ireland whatever it takes’?
Well, we know which route Dublin took, which up to the recent vote in the Commons looked a decent bet.
Not so much now, even to the point of Dublin suggesting they would need EU funds for the Irish beef sector if the proverbial hit the fan following a hard Brexit.
By all accounts it would be catastrophic for them, hence their nervousness, and now the hubris is starting to come home to roost.
Listening to Varadkar, you wouldn’t have guessed though. He is so detached from reality in his blind faith that the EU Commission will back Ireland.
Problem is, what happens when member states start taking control because they see the Commission is not listening to their individual concerns?
Since the recent vote, things have narrowed pretty well to Theresa May’s deal with changes to the dreaded backstop or no deal.
The sight of sworn Tory enemies on the leave and remainer side coming together to effectively stuff another referendum and give May a mandate to take back to Brussels was quite something.
Of course the response from the hardline EU negotiators was as expected, in other words get stuffed, we’re not reopening the deal.
However, as the prospect of no deal starts to dawn on a struggling EU economy, with some countries already in recession, individual member states have started to get somewhat nervous at the possibility of a catastrophic outcome.
We are now at squeaky bum time. The backstop was a political sleight of hand to undermine the UK when Varadkar saw an opportunity to polish his credentials with the EU.
Theresa May is not out of the woods by a long chalk, but as things are, I’d rather be her than him.
The arrogance of the Commission and Dublin versus the reality of the implications of no deal in individual member states, let alone the UK, is biting hard at long last.
Time for them to wake up and smell the coffee?
Norman can be found tweeting at @normanbagley1