The U.K.’s former Brexit secretary said the French and German leaders are the ones taking the hardest line in the negotiations.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, David Davis said “other than Macron, Merkel is the most emphatic in Europe about us not being seen to succeed.”
“I don’t think Merkel was ever really going to be our champion, ever, ever … neither Macron, nor Merkel.”
He also criticized Macron for calling Brexiteers “liars” at the EU summit in Salzburg this month. (Davis said he was in Munich at the time of the summit — “Probably the closest I could go without getting arrested.”)
In Salzburg, Macron said Brexit is “the choice of the British people, a choice pushed by those who predicted easy solutions … they are liars, they left the next day so they didn’t have to manage it.” In response, Davis said: “It’s not the mark of a great man to throw insults around.”
When it comes to making Brexit difficult, Davis, who resigned in protest at Theresa May’s Chequers plan, said the French were mainly to blame.
“Number one, they are the most committed to the ‘you cannot be seen to succeed argument because it will encourage other people,’” Davis said. “It’s a daft argument, frankly. There is nobody like us, in truth, nobody has the upside we have, the upside of the rest of the world.
“The second reason is a very, very narrow French one of trying, as it were, to raid our economy to get businesses to go to France.”
Davis added: “The third one is there is a long-term French view of what they think of as a deregulatory ‘Wild West’ Anglo-Saxon approach to economics and somehow we are going to out-compete them by cutting everything, cutting taxes, cutting regulations and so on … it’s hysterically wrong.
“At Salzburg, which was a sort of collective cock-up, really, on both sides, the people who would have been supportive of us, if they had been, wouldn’t have been France and Germany.”