EU member-states at odds over "hard line" Brexit stance

Press quote (City A.M.)
12 February 2018

Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, tweeted last night that around 10-to-12 countries had "some concerns" about the approach being taken by the traditional core of the EU, "particularly on the narrow scope of the deal that they appear to want to offer UK". 

Grant added: "But that dozen have different priorities and no leader, so [France, Germany and the Commission] could win the argument."

The former journalist said that while current divergence was in the UK's interest "as it may - possibly - lead to a softening of the Fra/Ger/Comm line" he warned that it was "probably not good for the UK" in the longer run. No agreement could pave the way for no deal at all, resulting in the much-feared cliff-edge scenario.

He also noted the growing frustration within the EU-27 at a lack of clarity from the UK government.