EU to fight Britain for EVERY global trade deal as Juncker changes policy to PUNISH UK

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
By Paul Martin

THE EU will battle it out for massive global trade deals with Britain in a change of policy designed to make post-Brexit life as hard as possible for the UK.

Wed, Aug 30, 2017

The change of policy signalled by Brussels boss Jean-Claude Juncker is set to put a major trade expansion at the heart of his EU agenda for the next year – placing the bloc in direct competition with post-Brexit Britain.

The EU Commission chief will include a flurry of proposed new economic agreements in his landmark State of the Union speech next month as eurocrats look to move forward without he UK.

The renewed focus on global trade, which was touted by many Brexiteers as a key reason for leaving the bloc, will be seen as a thinly-veiled rebuke of British criticisms of the EU.

Critics will claim it is indicative of the EU’s need for Brexit to be seen to fail so as to dissuade other member states from voting to leave.

Theresa May has championed a vision for a ‘Global Britain’ beyond 2019, able to strike its own economic pacts around the globe once free from the sclerotic clutches of Brussels.

Eurocrats have been stung by the suggestion that they were holding back one of their largest member states from having an ambitious trade agenda, and have since kicked into overdrive to prove critics wrong.

Senior EU officials told EurActiv the EU Commission chief will ask member states for a mandate to start a skew of new talks with partners across the globe as one of his key missions for 2018.

Mr Juncker is also expected to advocate some form of screening process for foreign investment in European companies to help assuage some free trade sceptics who feel globalisation has gone too far.

In recent months even free market backing Germany has started to raise concerns about Chinese backed takeovers of big companies, including technology giants.

But any move to shut off or quality control foreign investment into Europe will be interpreted by some as a sign of the bloc’s growing protectionism and could make new trade agreements more difficult to secure in the future.

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