Bad deals come back to bite you – Sant

Plenary session week 43 2014 in Strasbourg - European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2014 priorities

MEP Alfred Sant has warned the EU not to push its luck with potential member states looking to leave in the future.

Sant warned that the Union needed to be careful over how it used the advantage it had gained through negotiating Brexit on how it carried out deals with the remaining 27 member states.

Giving member states a raw deal, ‘will later be tempted or driven to exact some form of compensation or retribution.’, he said.

The MEP likened the situation to the Treaty of Versailles of 1918 or the treatment of Russia following the Cold War, negotiations  he said only encouraged them to react negatively later on.

“On the one hand, it is clear that the Brexit deal just signed is the only one possible in the circumstances. On the other hand it is equally clear that while the EU has safeguarded all its imperatives, the UK has retreated along all lines of engagement. In part this was because for various reasons, its negotiating positions and strategies were not so coherent.’, the MEP said.

Brexit and the ‘British way’ had shown the rest of the Union’s member states how not to negotiate departure under the Article 50 procedures.  Instead he said that antagonising the EU from inside would help them get what they want.

‘It could for instance first do its best to cause havoc from the inside in order to leverage and strengthen its position during exit negotiations.’, Sant said.