Brexiteers are not at all happy with the idea that the UK is on track to secure only 60 per cent of its objectives for a trade deal with the EU, saying “Brexit MUST mean Brexit”.
“It sounds like the #EU is going to win again. We voted to LEAVE the EU, not stay 40% IN!!” Pro-Brexit @grimes_steve tweeted earlier this week.
On Thursday, EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned a trade deal was 'unlikely' and lashed out at Britain over its hard-line position on fishing rights in UK territorial waters.
Speaking after a round of negotiations in London, Barnier told reporters that "the time for answers is quickly running out".
"By its current refusal to commit to open and fair competition and to a balanced agreement on fisheries, the UK makes a trade agreement, at this point, unlikely. Until the very last day of this negotiation and despite the current difficulties the EU will remain engaged, constructive, and respectful," he said on Thursday.
A Tory source told the Sunday Times, however, that while the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost is feeling more positive about the deal, he had acknowledged it may not be everything Brexiteers are hoping for.
The insider told the newspaper that Frost’s view “seems to be that we will get a deal, but he doesn't seem to be completely thrilled with what it is likely to be”.
“When people hear that we are getting 60 per cent of what we want, the question on everyone's lips is: ‘What is the 40 per cent we are giving away?’"
Tory Brexiteer MP Andrew Bridgen responded angrily, telling The Express that it would be a bad outcome if only 60 per cent, not 100 per cent, of the demands were agreed to.
“I can’t see how we can give so much,” he said. “The majority of the items that we disagree on and are causing the stumbling blocks, no sovereign nation could ever agree to,” Bridgen said.
“The EU is not treating the UK and an independent sovereign nation, it is acting as if we are still a member of the EU,” he said.
Hardcore Brexiteers do not want to accept "half a Brexit", but it looks like they may have no choice.