Varoufakis: Barnier is just a man with a tick list – no mandate to negotiate

Yanis Varoufakis on Question Time / BBC
Mr Varoufakis said: “Let’s be pragmatic here. She is never going to succeed in negotiating for the right to negotiate. That right has been denied.

Mr Barnier does not have a mandate to negotiate with her: he has a list with boxes to tick one after the other before any discussion takes place on what Britain wants from the European Union. My advice would be: cut your losses!

File an application for a Norway-style agreement for a period of five years after the expiration of the two-year period of the Article 50 process.”

He said that such a power move would allow the UK to take control of the Brexit talks’ time management, allowing the Government to calmly discuss the future without the looming threat of a the “ticking clock.”

“It would enable your House of Commons to debate properly and without a ticking clock, or a gun to the head, the future relationship between the EU and the UK.”

A Norway-style agreement would see Brexit Britain sign into the European Economic Area (EEA), retaining access to the European single market and customs union.

It would also mean accepting the four freedoms on which the EU is based: goods, services, capital and movement.

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has been spotted with a document outlining what Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU might look like.It was initially unclear what the document was, but it appears to show the various agreements and models the EU has with nations outside the bloc.

It hints that the EU may be looking to secure a Brexit deal based on a model already in place, in a strategy which will be unfavourable with Brexiteers.

The document summarises the business deals the EU has struck with Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and Turkey.