‘When it comes to Brexit, EU doesn’t know what the British want’

‘When it comes to Brexit, EU doesn’t know what the British want’
Some EU members are relieved that Britain has finally decided to cut the tie because in many ways they have been a rather obstructive member of the union, Martin Summers, independent journalist, told RT. Ray Finch, UKIP MEP, joins the conversation.

The French are plotting to steal London's crown as Europe's financial center, according to a leaked memo from The City's Brexit envoy Jeremy Browne written to the government and the banking sector.

Browne said: “The meeting with the French Central Bank was the worst I have had anywhere in the EU. They are in favor of the hardest Brexit. They want disruption. They actively seek disaggregation of financial services provision.”

At the same time, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair thinks the plug can still be pulled on Brexit during negotiations.

RT:  It's claimed France is looking for ways to damage the UK economy following Brexit. What's your take on that?

Martin Summers: I think that is a rather mischievous statement. Why would the French want to damage the UK economy? Everybody both in France and elsewhere in Europe and Britain presumably wants to do the best they can with this negotiation, so that they don’t damage themselves. It would be foolish for anybody to approach this negotiation in a zero-sum fashion. That is a rather mischievous statement, and it is questionable where it came from.

RT:  Will the EU benefit from Brexit?

MS: I think from other European countries point of view, the exit of Britain from the union is obviously potentially damaging. But many of them will be breathing a sigh of relief because over many years the British have been rather awkward members of the EU. So there will be some, and I am sure there are – they’ve said so in French politics – who are rather relieved in a way that Britain has finally decided to cut the tie because in many ways they have been a rather obstructive member of the union for some of the other members. There are all sorts of different views about this on both sides of the channel.

RT:  If the UK can't negotiate any kind of deal with the EU, how damaging could it be for the economies of both?

MS: Obviously, those who voted for Brexit in Britain believe that there will be benefits for Britain. I didn’t vote in favor, and I doubt whether there will be. We’re just going to manage the situation now, I don’t think there is any stomach for a rerun of the referendum here in Britain, and we’re going to have to manage the situation in an adult fashion. Those who voted ‘remain’ like myself are probably hoping that the divorce will be a relatively mild one. Obviously, key things are things like staying in the European Free Trade Area, and things of that sort. It is not clear that is going to happen because frankly there are big divisions within the British government about what Brexit actually means. I fear that other European partners that we have are rather concerned about this because they don’t really know what the British want.

'Trade wars hurt everyone'

Ray Finch, UKIP MEP

RT:  It's claimed France is looking for ways to damage the UK economy following Brexit. What's your take on that?

Ray Finch: This is perfidious France, isn’t it? Mr. [Emmanuel] Macron is trying to make a big name for himself with his friends in the EU establishment. It won’t happen because sheer economics dictates the UK will be the driver in services for Europe and a lot of the world.

RT:  Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is claiming Brexit will damage the UK. What are the positives out of this for Theresa May and Britain?

RF: Mr. Blair was a former Middle East peace envoy – that didn’t work out too well. The fact is Tony Blair had his time; he was a danger to the world while he was Prime Minister; he is still a danger now. He should just go away into retirement and count all of his millions.

RT:  Are there any sides that might benefit from so-called trade wars? Potentially one can happen if Britain finally leaves the EU, can’t it?

RF: The thing is, if any large economies indulge in a trade war, it damages everyone. The world is now so interconnected that we all have to work together as friends and as neighbors. If the EU is silly enough to try and push for a trade war, then everyone suffers. Frankly, I don’t think the presidents of say Russia and the US are keen on the EU trying to damage the world trade markets. It simply won’t happen. The EU and the world have too much to lose from it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.