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Sir Peter Marshall, former UK representative to the UN in Geneva, has accused the Brussels bloc of being in “flagrant breach” of their obligations when it comes to the Article 50 treaty – the process for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. He said any hope the EU would negotiate Brexit in a “positive spirit” were “extinguished” when former Prime Minister Theresa triggered Article 50.
Writing for The Times, he said: “Any hope that the negotiations would be conducted in a positive spirit was extinguished from that moment.
“What ensued could not be called ‘negotiation’. It was ‘capitulation by stages’.
“Concessions were willingly made on the UK side. Our partners have departed not one significant whit from the guidelines. They regarded our leaving as an existential threat to the EU.”
Mr Marshall said EU chiefs had “hijacked” Brexit negotiations to get their way and “distorted” the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc, which was laid out in the Article 50 treaty.
He said “our partners also loaded the dice against us”.
He wrote: “To get their way, the European Council in effect hijacked the negotiations. Thus they distorted the process for withdrawal laid down in article 50.
“Article 50(2) instructs the Union to ‘negotiate and conclude an agreement with that state, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.’
“The guidelines, in contrast, insisted on the ‘phasing’ of the negotiations: they declined to ‘take account of the framework for the future relationship’ until the withdrawal arrangements, including the ‘divorce bill’, had been all but settled.
“The inevitable consequence was that we were unable to conclude the agreement, but only to negotiate it.”
In his scathing attack, Mr Marshall said the EU had painted themselves to be the good guy – but were rather acting in “sustained bad faith”.
He suggested Remainers had played in to the hands of the EU, saying: “Even though in flagrant breach of their treaty obligations, our partners have managed to establish around themselves an aura of injured innocence, and around us an aura of moral delinquency.
“Vociferous, none-too-scrupulous Remainer campaigning on this side of the Channel has been of great assistance to the EU.
“It became obvious within a few months that our partners were acting in sustained bad faith.”
Offering the EU word of advice, he also suggested Brussels bosses main aim was to “humiliate and cheat” the UK.
He added: ”EU had On the contrary: the best approach, nay the essential approach, for global governance is to practise what you preach, and to respect other people, not to humiliate and cheat them.”
His remarks come as an EU Commission spokeswoman vowed that the bloc was ready for a no-deal Brexit as it warned Britain would suffer most under such a scenario.
Speaking at a regular daily briefing, Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said a no-deal UK exit would never be the EU’s preferred scenario.
But she insisted the Brussels-based executive saw no need for additional contingency preparations at this stage.
She said: ”This will obviously cause significant disruption both for citizens and for businesses and this will have a serious negative economic impact.
“That would be proportionally much greater in the United Kingdom than it would be in the EU 27 states.”
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Sir Peter Marshall, former UK representative to the UN in Geneva, has accused the Brussels bloc of being in “flagrant breach” of their obligations when it comes to the Article 50 treaty – the process for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
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