EU Council President goes "off the reservation" in bizarre Brexit speech

EU’s idea of a UK trade deal isn’t normal trade, it’s “having your cake and eating it”

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020

EU Council President harks back to the good old days when Theresa May was in charge

There were no compromises for the UK in the EU Council President’s speech to the Euro-federalists of the EU parliament today. In Brussels the EU Council President, the Belgian Charles Michel, gave another extraordinary speech about Brexit.

In a bizarre throwback to the days when the Remainer Government of Theresa May was in charge, his opening words were:

“Brexit means Brexit, like Theresa May said.”

Stranger and stranger

His speech became even stranger when he likened the UK’s wish to have a normal trade deal with the EU – as other countries such as Canada do – with “having your cake and eating it”.

“The UK wants access to our Single Market, while at the same time, being able to diverge from our standards and regulations, when it suits them. On ne peut pas avoir le beurre, l'argent du beurre, et le sourire de la cremiere. You can't have your cake and eat it too.”

Canada and other countries with whom the EU has trade deals do not have to converge their standards to the EU’s standards, so this statement is bizarre in the extreme. Naturally all companies selling to the EU have to ensure that their products meet EU standards, but this is not the same as insisting that an entire country must conform to certain EU standards and rules, when only a fraction of its companies sell to the EU.

Once again the EU is in material breach of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

This statement flies in the face of the commitments made by the EU when they signed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. If the EU considers a trade deal between the UK and the EU as something like “having your cake and eating it”, then there really is no hope.

This adds to the proof that the EU never intended to agree a normal trade deal with the UK. As such, they are once again in serious and material breach of the WA and PD. The UK is now well within its rights to rescind and void that agreement on these grounds alone.

Readers can read the EU Council President's full statement here.

Once again the EU Council President stated that it’s the UK that must compromise, not the EU

“We are 100% united. And we expressed our unwavering support to our chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. And we reconfirmed all the principles of his mandate.”

“So the UK has a big decision to make.”

“In fact, the United Kingdom now has an important choice to make about its own future.”

The UK Government has made it perfectly clear to the EU that there is no possible deal unless the EU changes its negotiating position, and the EU Council President once again made it clear that they are not prepared to do that.

And finally, the EU Council President seemed to swim off with the fishes

“Lastly, on fisheries. Brexit was not our decision. And it was not our fishermen's decision. Stopping access to UK waters would cause extraordinary damage to our fishing fleets. Yes, we want to keep access to UK waters for our fishermen, exactly like the UK wants to keep access to our huge and diversified markets for its companies.”

This attempt at an analogy is simply extraordinary. There is nothing remotely similar about the UK’s sovereign right to control its own waters, and UK companies wishing to sell to EU27 companies in the Single Market, as more than 150 countries do every day and without any trade deal.

UK companies will be selling to EU27 companies, not going over there as if they owned those territories and taking assets from EU27 companies’ premises without paying for them.

Quite, quite bizarre.


If anyone wanted any evidence of the way the EU has treated the UK in the last four and a half years, this speech by the Belgian President of the EU Council is right up there with some of the worst examples.

It is perfectly clear that the EU never intended to do any form of normal trade deal with the UK. Their intent all along was to punish the British people for having the temerity to vote to leave their precious, totalitarian, and sclerotic organisation.

We felt we had to publish this report, as this information is highly unlikely to be reported on the BBC.

If you can help us to keep going in these final months with a donation, then you will find quick, secure, and confidential donation links below this article. And you will receive a warm, personal, ‘thank you’ email from a member of our team!

[ Sources: EU Council | EU Parliament ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 21 Oct 2020

Click here to go to our news headlines

Please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.
And don't forget to actually post your message after you have previewed it!

Share this article on

Something to say about this? Scroll down for reader comments

Since before the EU Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org
has been the most prolific researcher and publisher of Brexit facts in the world.

Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.

We think facts matter. Please donate today, so that we can continue to ensure a clean Brexit is finally delivered.

Any credit card user

Quick One-off


From £5 - £1,000



From £3 per month

Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first

Quick One-off