Express.co.uk readers were quick to respond to the threat from Bernd Lange, claiming EU bosses were “scared” of a strong post-Brexit Britain which would be a force to be reckoned with after December 31. Mr Lange said the bloc is ready and willing to kick the UK out of the single market if Mr Johnson and his team refused to bow to demands. Britons closely following the developments before the UK and the EU meet for talks next month, responded by telling the Prime Minister to send the bloc packing.
“Time to show some British bulldog Boris – we are not a pet poodle for the EU,” said one annoyed reader.
Another said: “Walk away Boris with no trade deal.
“That’s what they are scared of – us becoming a fierce competitor. That’s why they are trying to keep us under their thumb.
“They need us more than we need them. Walk away and we will prosper, other countries will soon follow. The EU is doomed.
And a third exasperated Briton accused the bloc of bullying the UK.
They said Mr Lange’s threat proves EU bosses “think that they can dominate all EU business and when they don’t get their way they resort to bullying!”
One Brexit supporter went as far as to say the EU should act sooner rather than later with the threat to expel the Brits from the single market.
“Can you please sever it now and save us all a great deal of time and money which can be better spent?” they said.
One said: “Good idea. It will speed up things and the UK can get on with business full steam and no more distractions.
“Just walk away. This is another year wasted.”
Others slammed eurocrats for refusing to learn from history.
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One reader said the Brexit vote was clear proof that Britain “never has, nor ever will, submit to threats”.
They added: “All we ask is the same trading arrangements that other countries have with the EU.”
One man said the EU did not, in fact, want to start talks with a level playing field.
Instead, he claimed, the bloc only wanted to “be in charge”.
Some readers hit out at Berlin for appearing to dictate the rules for the UK even after it has left the EU.
In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme, Mr Lange referenced the Canada-style deal the Prime Minister favours.
Mr Lange said: “In the Canada agreement, the question on competition is mentioned, the issue of low standards is mentioned, the declaration on good working conditions is mentioned, the Paris Climate Agreement.
“This is a minimum standard but, of course, this is linked to a minimum market access.
“If the UK is really willing to go for that, with all the economic consequences, of course, we are ready to do that.”
The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, hit out at the “level playing field” comments.
He said the EU clearly does not understand the concept of Brexit.
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