BBC’s Nick Robinson puts leading German MEP in his place on Brexit – ‘You don’t get it!’

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BBC’s Nick Robinson clashed with leading German MEP Manfred Weber over the ongoing Brexit talks. Mr Robinson questioned why Brussels was still treating Britain like a country that was inside the European Union. Mr Weber responded by mocking the “chaotic” situation in Downing Street after the departures of Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings.

The BBC’s Today host said: “Michael Gove implied that the EU was coming to recognise that Brexit means the UK must be treated as a sovereign equal, that the penny is dropping in Brussels.

“Do you accept that the EU should treat the UK as a sovereign equal? That the EU should drop all its demands on Britain that it wouldn’t make on Japan or Canada, for example?”

Mr Weber responded: “We fully respect the sovereignty of the UK. There is no debate anymore on this. But we can’t give up on the interests we have.

“That is why we are insisting on a really clear level-playing field on the economic relationship. That has to be solved.”

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Nick Robinson pointed out that the EU does not say to other trade deal partners “we must have a say forever on the way you subsidise your industries”.

He added: “Wouldn’t it be sensible for the EU to let some of that go? That there is a degree of trust given to the UK?”

Mr Weber, who leads the biggest grouping in the European Parliament, said that the deal with Britain is “totally different” to deals with Canada and Japan.

This sparked a furious response from Mr Robinson, who said: “But you don’t get it. You say you accept sovereignty, but we want to treat you a bit like you’re still in.

“It works both ways, doesn’t it? European companies, German companies want access to British markets. Why do you always say it’s the fault with the British side?

“Is it not time you looked at your own colleagues in Brussels, and say get on with it, make a deal.”

The German MEP responded by pointing to the departures of Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings as a “chaotic situation” at a key moment for Brexit talks.


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Mr Weber said: “I see what is happening now in Downing Street. We can also see this as a quite chaotic situation where we don’t have an idea of what is really the line in Great Britain.

“For me, this is an irresponsible behaviour from the British side that we have still not yet, as Europeans, a clear idea of what Downing Street wants to achieve.

“So don’t tell us we should be ready for compromise. We need a clear idea from Boris Johnson now and I think it’s now time for leadership having all the developments in America in mind.

“London understood it will be not so easy with Joe Biden to achieve an easy trade deal now it’s time to take over responsibility and come to a common understanding.

“Britain has red lines, we have red lines, let’s now come to a compromise.”

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