Breaking: Free Movement Issue ‘On the Table’ – Really?
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has stated that freedom of movement talks will be ‘on the table’ when the UK starts its negotiations to withdraw from the EU.
Going against what we have heard so far, both before and after the referendum result, Mr Sapin stated, "When we negotiate with a country, a third party - Norway, Switzerland, to take countries that are very close - we discuss all subjects.
"Under what conditions there is freedom of movement of people, freedom of movement of goods, freedom of movement of capital.
"That is something that is very important for the UK with all the questions about financial services, so we discuss everything."
Angela Merkel steadfast
Two days ago, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, warned the UK that there could be no “cherry picking” in its Brexit negotiations in a tough response to Leave campaigners’ hopes of securing access to the internal market while limiting freedom of movement.
“We will ensure that the negotiations will not be run on the principle of cherry-picking,” the Chancellor stated. “We must and will make a palpable difference over whether a country wants to be a member of the family of the European Union or not. Whoever wants to get out of this family cannot expect that all the obligations fall away but the privileges continue to remain in place.”
These conflicting statements, coming just two days apart, illustrate how unprepared the EU was for a vote to leave by the UK. However, they are in good company, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have clearly demonstrated that their plan for exiting the EU is non-existent.
Angela Merkel’s statement was a response to Boris Johnson’s article in Monday’s Telegraph. In it, he described how Britons would be able to work and live in other EU countries but place controls on EU citizens wanting to come here.
Commentators have been frank in their criticism of his comments, saying frankly that he is, ‘taking the piss’ and his piece read like “a letter to Santa”.
With both political parties in the throngs of electing new leaders (if only Jeremy would go), it is likely that a plan for Brexit will not be appearing anytime soon and we can look forward to more confusion and inconsistent statements from baffled politicians.
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