I hear that in a timely way EU leaders meeting in private have become alarmed. They are getting reports of a growing revolt in the UK against the long and unhelpful Brexit talks and have decided they need to take it seriously. After all, what would it achieve if they beat the UK government into submission only to find that UK voters were once again insistent that they just want to leave. Last time they succeeded in crushing a UK PM in negotiations it led directly to the vote to leave. This time it could lead to an early exit without any deal.
Germany is very worried they will not be able to export all those cars and manufactured goods tariff free. All countries are worried they wont get the £40bn leaving present which will so ease the financial pain of the UK’s departure. They are concerned that the UK may not be such a willing strategic partner, carrying a disproportionate share of the defence and Intelligence burden for the continent. The UK might become even less willing to take unemployed people from the continent and welcome them into jobs with benefit top ups.
As a result sources close on this special day tell me they are now resolving to let the UK have all it wants in terms of a future trade and economic partnership in the hope that will be enough to assuage the growing concern in the UK about the extent of the give aways. There is even discussion that as the EU thinks you need to pay to trade maybe they should do the paying, as they are the ones with the big surplus and with most to lose. Perhaps all those Remain commentators and politicians who have been telling us how the EU will be nasty, keen to give us a lousy deal, were wrong after all. Maybe the rest of the EU is learning that democracy is a fine thing and the UK has made a democratic decision. Maybe they see the advantages for them. Mr Macron can wield more power without the UK there, and Mrs Merkel can help complete her political union without the Uk trying to hold her back. As a result it is possible the UK will be allowed to eat cake, indeed encouraged to eat cake. Then all the rest of EU all can eat cake as well.