EU insists it will remain the ‘grown ups in the room’ as it claims Boris Johnson is ‘laughing at us’

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier listens to a question during a debate on Brexi

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier listens to a question during a debate on Brexit in Brussels. Photograph: AP Photo/Francisco Seco. - Credit: AP

The EU has accused Boris Johnson of deliberately seeking to destroy trade negotiations to secure a no-deal Brexit.

Senior European sources told the Express that the 'full frontal attack' on the Withdrawal Agreement is a clear sign that it wants to talk to fail.

'They're laughing at us. The constant references to the WTO is a signal 'You can go to hell',' one senior diplomatic source said. 'My gut feeling is that the British government has opted for no deal.'

But despite this, the EU has committed itself to being the 'grown ups' in the room during discussions.

'The EU will not walk away – we must be the grown ups in this.

'At this stage, we should be in the proverbial tunnel not fighting off British cavalry charges.'

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Another close to the talks told the newspaper: 'No effort was made to obscure the UK government's ability to deviate from the arrangements in the Ireland Protocol.

'It even explicitly spells out the possibility to do so. It also gives ministers the power to derogate from national regulations in this context.'

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They added: 'This was the absolute low point in the four years of negotiations by a country formerly known as the cradle of democracy.'

The European Commission has vowed to continue with talks to show that it is the side that wants to secure a Brexit deal.

An official said: 'Talks will continue albeit in a tense atmosphere.

'It won't be the EU walking away from the table, rest assured. Barnier will showcase himself as the one who wants a deal, which puts the UK in the position of those responsible for the mess.'

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