PUBLISHED: 08:49, Sun, Oct 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:00, Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Daniel Hannan described the EU's approach to Brexit as "bizarre" and suggested there was a belief in Brussels that Britain might drop the idea of leaving if the terms offered were harsh enough. Mr Hannan, Tory MEP for South East England from 1999 until the UK's exit from the EU in 2020, was speaking after trade talks between the two sides collapsed.
By sticking to a number of deliberately absurd positions Brussels has effectively collapsed the talks
Britain rebuffed Brussels' offer of intensified trade talks next week and told the EU chief negotiator there was "no basis for negotiations".
Boris Johnson accused European leaders of having "abandoned the idea of a free trade deal" and told the UK to "get ready" for a no deal outcome in the negotiations after his October 15 deadline for reaching an agreement passed.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said there was "no point" in EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier travelling to London unless the 27 member states were willing to alter their position or wanted to discuss sector by sector arrangements to prepare for no deal.
The EU's position on Brexit talks has been branded 'absurd' (Image: GETTY)
The hardening of Britain's stance came after EU leaders agreed summit conclusions calling on the UK to make "the necessary moves to make an agreement possible" without any suggestion of EU concessions.
The two sides have been at loggerheads for months over the issues of future fishing rights and state aid rules.
Mr Johnson said: "We've got to a stage, alas, where they don't seem to want to progress a free trade deal.
"That was pretty clear from the conclusions of the summit. They don't want to go any further."
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