Britain and the European Union are playing a desperate cat-and-mouse game to try and gain the upper hand in negotiations ahead of trade talks.
In Europe, statesman have sowed seeds of discontent about giving the City of London the chance to continue plying a profitable trade in financial services.
The fact that London is the world’s largest financial centre and will suck business away from the EU’s smaller markets after Brexit seems not to be considered.
The EU says cooperation would continue if there is “close convergence of rules and supervision” but this would be changed or withdrawn if the EU and the UK regimes started to differ.
While in London, prophet of doom David Davis, the British lead negotiator, has cast doubt on if MPS will vote to approve paying the EU £39 billion to keep access to the single market during the transition period if they don’t have a nailed down trade deal in advance.
Threats are just Brexit bluster
“Parliament will want to know what it is getting in exchange for the money,” he said.
“The hardest time I will have in October is people asking what have we got for this?”
The EU has only agreed to negotiate a trade framework by October, when the matter goes to a vote in Westminster ahead of Brexit in March 2019.
The comments from both sides should be considered as posturing because it is in the interests of Britain and the EU to come to an agreement that suits each.
David also discussed other sticking points in the Brexit talks.
Bickering among MPs
He denied the bloc had thrown out Britain’s technology based soft border solution for Ireland and said talks would continue.
But he did say Britain would not allow Northern Ireland to be ‘annexed’ by Europe by demanding the province should follow EU rather than British laws.
Davis refused to be drawn on if the government would go back to the negotiating table if MPS rejected the EU/Brexit deal in October.
He explained he expected the deal to be voted through and despite the bickering between leave and remainer MPs, that government policy would prevail.