THE EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier burst into a bizarre rant at the end of last week’s Brexit talks, according to insiders.
The UK’s team was stunned as the Frenchman made the “bewildering” claim Britain is asking for benefits of the single market without the costs.
They insist Mr Barnier's behaviour was because he knows he is “losing the argument”. Downing Street has repeatedly said all the UK wants is a Canada-style free trade agreement, and offers to accept some tariffs and quotas to get a deal.
British negotiators believe Mr Barnier, out of desperation, is reverting to the tired old lines he used successfully against Theresa May.
A senior UK official said: “Their arguments on merit aren’t working and they’re reaching for some of the old script, but it doesn’t fit the actual situation we’re now trying to negotiate.
“Anyone who thinks this Government has nostalgia for 2018 has an imperfect understanding of UK political developments over the last few years.
"Barnier is doing a good job with the hand given.
“He must know the mandate is unnegotiable.”
No 10 is pessimistic of breaking the deadlock unless the bloc changes its attitude.
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