The EU’s attempted ‘punishment beating’ of the UK – the evidence

Part Two of Brexit Facts4EU.Org’s series reveals how the four year torment was created

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020

Further detailed facts, flatly contradicting BBC claim that the EU did not set out to punish the UK

Correcting the BBC about Brexit - Part Two

The second in a series of three articles demonstrating the EU's bad faith in negotiating with the United Kingdom
Evidence for use by UK Government in rescinding the Withdrawal Agreement

The full series:-
Part One - Fact 1   |   Part Two (this article) - Facts 2-6   |   Part Three - Facts 7-10

In our article on Thursday, we called out the BBC for its latest pro-EU stance. In this Saturday edition of Brexit Facts4EU.Org we provide further evidence that the EU has never acted in good faith or with goodwill towards the UK and its people since the vote to leave on 23 June 2016.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

10 key facts which show how the EU set out to punish the British people

Evidence in Part One – read it here.

  • Fact 1 – From Day One the EU made it perfectly clear that it would punish the UK

Evidence in Part Two (provided in this article, see below)

  • Fact 2 – EU banned UK from speaking to member states and delayed talks by a year
  • Fact 3 – Numerous hostile announcements have been made by the EU and leaders of member countries
  • Fact 4 – EU banned discussion of trade until Withdrawal Agreement was signed
  • Fact 5 – EU insisted on three arbitrary items to be agreed before trade talks could start
  • Fact 6 – EU weaponised and endangered the Belfast Agreement, threatening peace in Northern Ireland

And more evidence is coming in our concluding Part Three tomorrow (Sunday)

Fact 2 – Evidence - EU banned UK from speaking to member states and delayed talks by a year

After the UK voted for Brexit in June 2016, in a normal world informal talks would have started within weeks. So why didn’t they? In the UK’s case, action was relatively swift.

  • The UK's Chief Negotiator, the Rt Hon David Davis MP, was appointed within 3 weeks of the Referendum
  • The EU didn't have a negotiator in place for almost 6 months

Meanwhile, the unelected EU Commission gave a diktat that there would be

“No negotiations before notification [of Article 50].”

There was no basis in EU law nor in any Treaty provisions for this EU diktat.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary


23 June 2016 - The EU Referendum

13 July 2016 – The Rt Hon David Davis MP was appointed Brexit Secretary

It is a simple fact that informal dialogue could have been opened by the Rt Hon David Davis MP in July 2016, just three weeks after the Referendum, but the EU wasn’t ready or wasn’t willing to engage.

15 Dec 2016 – After almost 6 months, EU finally chose its negotiator

It wasn’t until the EU Council meeting of 15th December that Michel Barnier was appointed as the official Chief Negotiator for the EU – almost six months after the UK’s EU Referendum.

17 January 2017 – UK issued its 12 principles of Brexit

Theresa May outlined 12 principles of what the UK was seeking to achieve in its vision of Brexit. These were widely publicised and freely available to all – including the EU.

02 Feb 2017 – UK Government White Paper on Brexit was published

David Davis published an official White Paper. Running to 77 pages, it set out the previously announced Brexit principles in more detail. The EU continued to decline to hold any talks.

29 Mar 2017 - UK formally invoked Article 50

The UK government formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017. Mrs May’s six page letter to the EU reconfirmed the UK’s position in line with what had previously been announced.

By this time, the EU’s spin machine was in overdrive. On Sunday 11 June EU Commission President Juncker gave a classic example of this to the German magazine Der Spiegel: “We have been ready to negotiate for months.” This was a gross falsehood and Juncker knew it. It wasn't even remotely close to the truth.

The UK broadcast media then merely parroted the EU's position as usual, without the slightest attempt to find out how false it was. Here's the Sky News then Europe Editor Mark Stone, on the day of Juncker's German interview, 11 June 2017: "The EU wants the negotiations on Brexit to begin. They have been ready for months and have been waiting only for the UK to come to the table."

The EU didn't even publish their negotation position papers until the next day, 12 June, and they delayed talks for a further week. A modicum of journalistic competence would have uncovered the truth.

Negotiations finally started on 19 June 2017

The EU finally sent its first approved ‘position papers’ to the UK government on 12 June 2017. That was almost one year AFTER the UK voted to leave the EU. Negotiations then commenced on 19 June 2017.

So, the EU was not ready until almost 12 months after the EU Referendum

The above shows how at all stages the EU had NOT been ready to start negotiations for almost a year. If it had acted efficiently it would at the very least have been ready to start the day after Article 50 was triggered – on 30 March 2017. After all, it had been given six months’ notice of this by the UK government, and it was nine months since the British people’s decision in the EU Referendum.

A year of Brexit negotiating time was lost – and the slowest player was the EU.

Fact 3 – Evidence - Numerous hostile announcements have been made by the EU and leaders of member countries

Below we show just three out of many examples of the hostile attitude from the EU to the UK, before the EU would even allow any talks of any kind to start.

“We intend to teach people... what leaving the Single Market means”

Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier, 2 Sept 2017

“There needs to be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price.”

Former French President Francois Hollande, 15 Sept 2016

“This is not an amicable divorce.”

(This was on the day of the Referendum result.)

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 24 June 2016

The above are just three examples of the aggressive and bullying attitude of the EU since the UK voted for Brexit.

Fact 4 – Evidence - EU banned discussion of trade until Withdrawal Agreement was signed

Even before the EU was ready to start negotiations, they demanded that no discussions of the future relationship could begin before the Withdrawal Agreement was agreed. They reiterated this many times, and here is just one example:

“Discussions on the framework for a future relationship with the United Kingdom will only begin once sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the negotiations. It will be for the European Council to decide whether there has been sufficient progress.”

- EU Commission, 03 May 2017

Fact 5 - Evidence - EU insisted on three arbitrary items to be agreed before trade talks could start

A few months after the Referendum, the EU suddenly insisted that three items should be agreed upon before anything else could be discussed. These were:-

  • The financial settlement, aka the ‘Divorce Bill’
  • Citizens’ rights
  • The Northern Ireland border

None of these were in any way required by the terms of Article 50 of the EU Treaty which defined the exit process. These were three arbitrary items chosen and insisted upon by the EU, and which prevented any trade talks even commencing until three years and eight months after the British people had voted to leave the European Union.

In fact the UK had already offered to guarantee citizens' rights in November 2016. This offer was rejected on 29 Nov 2016 by the then EU Council President Donald Tusk and by Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

Fact 6 – Evidence - EU weaponised and endangered the Belfast Agreement, threatening peace

Regrettably the EU colluded with the government of the Republic of Ireland to capture part of the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom, as part of its intended punishment of the people of the UK for voting to leave the EU. Any objective look at the facts demonstrates this beyond a doubt.

Our Irish border summary

  • ”The Withdrawal Agreement clearly rips the Good Friday Agreement apart” – Lord Trimble, Peace Prize winner
  • The Irish border is only mentioned once – in passing – in the Good Friday Agreement (GFA)
  • The GFA does not require membership of the EU, Customs Union, Single Market [NI court ruling]
  • HMRC, Irish Customs, and the EU Parliament’s expert report all saw no problem & no hard border
  • The EU and the Irish government then prevented HMRC and Irish Customs from talking to each other
  • Brexit for Northern Ireland presents almost no risk to the EU or its Single Market
  • The N.I. exports over the border will account for only 0.2% of total EU imports
  • The EU and the Irish Government prevented UK and Irish Customs from agreeing a simple solution

It is worth reading what one of the two main architects of the Belfast Agreement, The Rt Hon The Lord Trimble PC had to say on what the EU has done. Lord Trimble received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work leading to the Good Friday Agreement, so his words carry weight.

The EU's Withdrawal Agreement breaks the Good Friday Agreement
Says Nobel Peace Prize Winner - and one of the two main architects of it

“The Withdrawal Agreement clearly rips the GFA [Good Friday Agreement] apart.

“Since the laws governing 60 per cent of economic activity in NI will no longer be made at Westminster or by the devolved Assembly, but by an outside law-making body, the EU, and those laws will be subject to interpretation by a non-UK court, clearly the constitutional position of NI has been changed without the consent of the people of NI as required by the GFA.

“Furthermore, there is no way in which the people affected by those decisions will even have a say in the making or application of them.”

- The Rt Hon The Lord Trimble PC, 11 July 2020, CBP Report

IMPORTANT - Don't miss the finale of this series tomorrow (Sunday 15 Nov 2020), which concludes with a damning quotation from Michel Barnier which sums up everything that has been wrong with the EU's punishing treatment of the United Kingdom.


This is the second part of our series exposing the BBC's wrongful claim that the EU has not been set on punishing the UK over the exit and trade talks. The evidence is incontrovertible and we will let it speak for itself.

One aspect which is worthy of mention in this section of the evidence, however, is the last item above. When one of the two main architects of the Northern Ireland peace process, the highly-respected Lord Trimble, tells the World that the EU's dictatorial Withdrawal Agreement "rips apart" the Good Friday Agreement, then all decent politicians must surely sit up and take notice.

Naturally the intervention of Lord Trimble has received virtually no coverage from the BBC, nor from other broadcast media, and nor has it been used by any of the Government's communications departments. As a result, Senator Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the United States are still under the impression that it's the UK Government who are at fault. In reality it's the bullying and hostile EU that is threatening peace in Northern Ireland, as it continues its attempts to "make the UK pay" for voting to leave the sclerotic and dysfunctional EU.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org continues to work behind the scenes - in addition to what you read on our website and in social media - to pressure the Government and MPs to rescind and void the Withdrawal Agreement, and to leave the EU on 31 December on WTO terms.

We badly need your help to continue this work into the final battle campaign. Readers who have not already donated to fund our work (which involves no limos, no secretaries, no long lunches – unlike the EU Commission) could do so in a two shakes of a Juncker's martini. Quick, secure, and confidential donation links are below this article. We only survive on public donations – unlike some Remainer organisations no foreign billionaires have ever funded us, sadly. Come to that, no domestic billionaires have ever funded us either...

[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | Elysée Palace | Her Majesty's Government | Sky News | CBP ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 14 Nov 2020

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