Sorry Mr Barnier but you simply don't get to boss Britain around any longer - COMMENT

And doesn't Michel Barnier just hate it! Yesterday the usually deliberately composed Frenchman lost his rag because things really aren't going his way – maybe for the first time for years.

Barnier, the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, is insistent that any and all Brexit negotiations hinge on his “level playing field”.

Barnier claims the level playing field is vital to any trade negotiations because without it Britain will start selling strychnine flavour yoghurts and children's teddy bears hammered together with six inch nails – he calls it a race to the bottom.

It is, of course, a monumental lie.

The level playing field is simply a smokescreen for EU protectionism – particularly French protectionism (an end the EU was always primarily set up to achieve).

Brussels is terrified of having a productive, commercially aggressive neighbour serving a global market just 28 miles across the water from Calais.

Barnier even admits the level playing field is to stop Britain undercutting it's 27 neighbours – entirely missing the point that this is exactly what Britain, and the dictates of free trade and Brexit, demand.

Here's how trade works: I supply goods, products or services which you want to buy at a price which is agreeable to us both. If you don't like the quality I won't sell much. If you don't like the price I won't sell any.

The end.

What you can't do is put in completely unrelated rules and stipulations before I even get chance to offer my goods, products or services.

But that is what Barnier is demanding. He wants to dictate British policy on everything from climate change, tax and employment standards and, most jaw-dropping of all, state aid.

Again this is both insulting and deeply ironic. Britain famously plays by the rules – it's built into our national DNA, like queueing and discussing the weather - to do otherwise just wouldn't be cricket.

But, as anyone who's watched a Spaniard spark up a fag in a Madrid bar (in in complete contravention of European law), can't help but have noticed, not everyone else does.

Let's have a look at that unfair state aid the Frenchman Mr Barnier is banging on about and remind ourselves that in 2012 the French government handed the then ailing French car-maker Peugeot Citroen a £6BILLION bail-out.

How is that not unfair state aid?

And at the back end of last year the EU Itself approved €3.2billion in state aid subsidies to a German-led consortium of companies which included carmakers BMW and Opel, chemical company BASF, battery maker Varta.

How is that not unfair state aid?

And remind yourselves too that in 2005 when Britain's last home-grown volume car-maker MG Rover started to go belly up, the British Government played by the rules. No state aid – just a Chinese buy-out. What fools we were.

And how about those impeccable animal husbandry standards across the EU Mr Barnier is keen Britain upholds ? Might be time to refresh our memories on how in 2017 Britain's shops had to clear shelves of hundreds of thousands of poisoned eggs imported from farms in Holland. Or remind ourselves that last year two French and two Dutch traders went on trial in Paris for fobbing off British shops with “100% prime beef” which was actually horse-meat. Bon appetit Mr B.

But of course the “level playing field” isn't about standards, it's about the EU cutting Britain's competitive edge off at the knees.

Far from a race to the bottom Brussels is terrified the 27 might be incapable of matching impeccable British quality, British inventiveness and Britain's entrepreneurial spirit.

Brussels is terrified someone is about to raise the bar and, despite all the blustering political rhetoric, the EU is going to be found wanting.


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