Brexit ‘psychodrama’ with EU set to keep UK shackled to bloc for ‘decades’ to come

Brexit: UK-EU 'psychodrama' will be debated for years says expert

Matt Withers said Brexit talks with the European Union are expected to continue for more than ten years as further aspects of the trade deal with the UK are due to be debated. Boris Johnson has insisted he will continue as Prime Minister in the wake of securing the end of the Brexit transition period. Mr Johnson said Britain had negotiated a good deal with the EU and there were lots of reasons to be positive about an “otherwise grim new year” amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to Roundtable, Mr Withers said: “The ongoing psychodrama of the UK’s relationship with Europe which predated the Brexit referendum by about 70 years, is not going to end with this very thin agreement, unfortunately.

“We are likely to be debating aspects of this for years, possibly decades into the future.

“It’s a good deal as far as it goes.

“It doesn’t go very far. It was never supposed to.

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“Boris Johnson made it very clear he was prioritising the notion of sovereignty over economics.

“We’ve basically got a deal that keeps goods moving across the Channel and not a great deal beyond that.

“I expect over the next few years there will be a lot of looking to build on that and that will cause the same kind of frictions and antagonism amongst the Conservative party as anything we’ve seen over the past few years.”

The claim comes as “teething problems” with Brexit as well as the continuing pandemic have posed issues for Britons trying to enter EU countries.

Travellers heading for Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden have been held up at borders following the UK’s departure from the single market.

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Peter North said he was denied access to a Ryanair flight to Sweden just before boarding at London Stansted airport because airline staff said they could not accept as proof a negative coronavirus test from the NHS.

Mr North, 60, who was trying to chaperone his eight-year-old granddaughter Eija on her way to Sweden, where her mother lives, was told he needed to book a private test.

He now faces spending more than £150, five times the price of the plane tickets which were around £30 each, for a private test before he and Eija can take a new flight together.

“I was very upset about it, my grand-daughter was just looking forward to going back and seeing her mum and her friends,” Mr North, from Hornchurch, Essex said.

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“When I asked the Ryanair staff why this happened, they had no real answers … I’ve been back and searched the internet for it and could not find anything about NHS tests not being allowed on their website.

“Their attitude was terrible, both at the gate and then when I went to customer service. It’s absolutely disgusting to treat people like that.”

Ryanair have been contacted for comment.

A number of passengers were stopped at Heathrow Airport as they tried to board an Iberia airline flight to Spain after being told they did not have the correct proof of residency.

And passengers bound for the Netherlands were told they could not enter the country as officials would only let residents or EU-EEA nationals land within their borders.

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