The contrast could hardly have been more stark, or poignant. Some days ago, Mark Francois, an excitable member of the Spartans, a band of all-out Tory Brexiteers, wrote a cheeky, pugnacious “missive from a free country” to the European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Mr Francois was demanding that the EU lives up to its moral obligations and withdraws its “unreasonable demands” for a new trade deal.
Now Mr Barnier, cool, logical, elegant in speech and manner, has responded, in English. In as polite but dry manner as he can, Mr Barnier merely pointed out that the broad agreement on the “level playing field” and fisheries was contained in the UK-EU Political Declaration that Mr Francois had himself voted for only a few months ago. Mr Barnier thus found himself explaining to Mr Francois what his own party’s policy is. Mr Francois seems not to be overly concerned about the “billet-doux” from Brussels.
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