Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has started sabre-rattling over Brexit. If we leave, we will face “consequences”, he says. We will be “treated as a third country”. (But I thought that was the whole point?). We will be regarded as “deserters”, and “not treated with kid gloves”.
It is quite revealing how far away Juncker is from the real world. He doesn’t seem to understand that by making this sort of threat, by allowing the mask to slip and showing the ugly face of the Brussels machine, he is likely to drive anti-EU sentiment in Britain.
He doesn’t understand the economic imperatives which will force the EU to reach a positive trade deal with the UK. He’s forgotten that trade with “third countries” is subject to WTO rules. He even seems to have forgotten the terms of the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50, which requires the EU to reach favourable trade deals with neighbouring countries.
Brexit campaigners are entitled to be angry with these comments. And to be motivated to greater efforts.