‘EU caved on Brexit’ after Merkel panicked about £80bn trade surplus and ‘stepped in’

Brexit: UK’s trade with EU is declining says council chief

Britain and the EU agreed a post-Brexit trade deal on Christmas Eve following several months of often bitter talks between the two sides as they pressured each other to cave on several crucial red lines. The UK had entered an 11-month transition period on January 31, which left the country locked to the EU’s rules and regulations on the Customs Union and Single Market. But the deal, which had often looked on the verge of collapse, went right down to the wire, and was only confirmed a week before the end of the deadline for the transition period expired.

A hard Brexit would have cost the EU as much as €33billion in annual exports, according to economic research by insurer Allianz in November, with Germany, home to the bloc’s biggest economy and fourth-largest in the world, among those hit the hardest.

Charles-Henri Gallois, President of the political movement Generation Frexit, campaigning for France to become one of the next countries to leave the bloc, branded the EU a “total disaster”.

He believes the huge £80billion trade surplus should have seen the EU pushing for a Brexit deal right from the start, but raged Brussels had “acted like a sect that wants to punish the member that wants to take back his freedom”.

Mr Gallois believes Germany was terrified of a no-deal outcome, forcing them to pile late pressure onto Brussels to strike an agreement, which ultimately saw the bloc’s negotiators cave in.

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The Generation Frexit President told Express.co.uk: “The EU is a total disaster.

“The interest of the EU countries from the beginning would have been to have a deal. When you have more than £80billion as a trade surplus, you try to find a good solution for both parties.

“But the EU has acted like a sect that wants to punish the member that wants to take back his freedom.

“They did it even if it would cost you this trade surplus.

“Boris Johnson did well and stood firm.

“Some countries such as Germany feared a no-deal so I think that at the end they put pressure on the EU to get a deal. The EU eventually has caved in.”

The Halle Institute for Economic Research had warned EU companies exporting to Britain could have lost more than 700,000 jobs if no trade deal is agreed.

Germany’s lucrative car manufacturing industry would also have been battered, with the cost for Germany hitting a huge 8.2billion in annual exports, according to trade credit insurance company Euler Hermes.

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Mr Gallois praised Mr Johnson but again lashed out at the EU, accusing Brussels of trying to “bully and punish the UK” as they were terrified Brexit could form a platform to lead an exodus of member states from the bloc.

He said: “I think that Boris has done what you have to do in negotiations with the EU.

“The EU does not negotiate in good faith. They don’t like a win-win relationship.

“They tried to bully and punish the UK as they fear a successful Brexit that will give ideas for other countries such as France, to leave the bloc.”

Mr Gallois added: “I’m in favour of Brexit because I hate the EU but I love Europe.

“I have many British friends, some of them within the Brexit Party, and it’s great to see them take back control.

“The end of the EU will be great for European countries. Brexit and a successful Brexit are the key to help the continent to be free.”

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