‘Italy will be first to break ranks’ Brussels MUTINY – EU states DEMAND ‘pragmatic Brexit’

Sunday, February 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

ITALY will become the first country to break ranks on the so-called ‘EU unity’ Brexit approach – led by France and Germany – as frustration with “the lack of realism” in Brussels terrifies EU member-states, according to a leading Italian commentator.

Sun, Feb 4, 2018

Italy will become the first country to call for “more pragmatism” to be injected into the Brexit talks, as EU member-states threaten to turn against Michel Barnier’s hardline approach.

Speaking on BBC Dateline, Italian commentator Annalisa Piras revealed that European countries had become increasingly disillusioned with the approach led by France, Germany and the Brussels negotiators.

The European Union held together a united front during the first phase of Brexit talks, but cracks are beginning to emerge as the talks turn to trade.

The Italian expert said the European Union has seen a “clear shift” on Brexit as governments noticed how a punishing approach towards Britain could harm their own economies.

Ms Piras said: “Italy has been one of the first major supporters of this softer approach towards Britain. Countries now recognise that Brexit will happen.

“There was unity, no cherry-picking, in the first phase but now, countries like Italy will be the first to urge the bloc to be more pragmatic, more realistic.

“They realise they all have a lot to lose. Italy has a very strong economic bond with the UK.”

While Michel Barnier has largely agreed with the French and German-led argument that financial services should be ruled out of a trade deal, other states have disagreed.

Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s prime minister, said in Davos that it would be “totally unrealistic” to exclude financial services from an EU-UK accord.

One EU diplomat criticised the approach on financial services as an “anti-British” ploy by France to lure businesses away from the City of London.

Ann Linde, Sweden’s EU minister, said in December that a “Canada-plus-plus-plus” deal would be suitable for all sides.

The Rest…HERE

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