BREXIT chief Michel Barnier has threatened to call Theresa May’s bluff over a ‘No Deal’ – as he doesn’t believe Britain will walk away from negotiations without an agreement.
After holding their own talks with the EU Brexit chief this week, MPs told The Sun that he will never offer a deal that can get through Parliament as he feels the UK government will eventually buckle and seek a compromise.
Politicians on the Commons Brexit Committee met with Mr Barnier in Brussels earlier this week.
Tory MP Richard Graham said: “I conclude from all the meetings we had in Brussels that the risk of the EU not agreeing a deal attractive enough to us is higher than I had imagined.
“The EU misread the UK's reaction to the negotiations with Cameron in 2015, and it could happen again.”
But in a sign of hope for the PM, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said he wants the terms of the transition deal agreed by the end of March.
Mr Barnier told MPs: “If the Council goes in December, we should know details of the two year transition by end of March next year.”
Another attendee – the ex-Cabinet minister John Whittingdale who played a prominent role for the Vote Leave campaign – said it was clear from Wednesday’s meeting that the EU and Britain was far from agreeing any deal.
He said: “It does make me think that the British government ought to be seriously preparing a no deal outcome.”
Theresa May has already committed more than half a billion to preparing for a No Deal Brexit – half on preparing for a No Deal.
And a fortnight ago the EU admitted for the first time that it had begun work on Britain quitting in march 2019 without a new trading relationship in place.
Michel Barnier’s top adviser Stefaan de Rynck said: "We are preparing for it, that is for sure.”