With just four days to go until the Prime Minister’s team will sit down with Brussels’ negotiators, thousands of Express.co.uk readers have warned Mr Johnson against buckling on key issue. The UK and EU, who have published their mandates ahead of Monday’s meeting, are miles apart on a number of matters including fishing and trading standards. The UK Government has threatened to walk away in June unless a “broad outline” of a free trade deal has been hammered out.
Some people who took part in the poll said walking away was a “no brainer” given the rhetoric of the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in recent days.
The Eurocrat caused upset among many Brexit voters when he said Britain should agree on a “level playing field”.
When asked “Is Boris Johnson right to threaten to walk away from EU talks this summer?” 96 percent (14,464) of those polled said yes.
Just four percent (607) said no while less than one percent (53) said they were unsure.
A total of 15,124 readers took part in the ballot between 1.50pm and 8pm on Thursday, February 27.
One reader said there would be “no problem” if the UK left the bloc on the terms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
On the other hand, he said the UK should anticipate “big problems with accepting any of [the] demands and conditions” of the EU.
Another person said: “With the demands the EU are making, I don’t know why we are sitting down in the first place.”
Others told the Prime Minister to have no fear of departing negotiations without a deal.
Many suggested the Europeans would come begging the British to buy their products if a post-Brexit trade agreement was not signed.
“Yes, walk away,” one person said.
“They’ll soon come running with their BMWs, wine and olives.”
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Another added: “They need us more than we need them.
“We should not allow them to dictate the conditions.”
A third man fumed: “It is about time we stood up and showed some of the old British backbone.
“We have been messed about by the Brussels mafia for long enough, mostly thanks to Cameron and May.”
The Government’s mandate lays out the options which negotiators will consider if enough progress has not been made in the first three months of talks.
The document states: “If that does not seem to be the case at the June meeting, the government will need to decide whether the UK’s attention should move away from negotiations and focus solely on continuing domestic preparations to exit the transition period in an orderly fashion.”
One voters said Mr Johnson “won the election on the promise to take the country out of the EU in every meaning of the word and to take back control of our borders and fisheries” and any compromise would “be seen as treachery”.
And one particularly angry reader had a very direct message for the Prime Minister.
He said: “Don’t threaten to walk, WALK!”
Others said the UK should have quit the talks before they began, given the bloc’s strict demands.
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