A failed UK will be only outcome of negotiations

'˜Pour encourager les autres' is such an innocuous phrase, but it carries an undercurrent of malevolence and a message that is quite threatening. Its origin is a quote from Voltaire's satire Candide, and it is often used in the context of political punishment and persecution.
EU leaders will use all their power to bring failure to fruitionEU leaders will use all their power to bring failure to fruition
EU leaders will use all their power to bring failure to fruition

It is the approach that we are regularly told will be adopted by EU leaders and EU negotiators charged with reaching a Brexit deal with the UK.

It is a message that carries the same underlying threat issued by ancient tyrannical regimes and despots such as the Romans, the Vikings and the Mongols as they tried to keep control over their empires, and impose their will on the peoples they had subjugated.

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We should be under no 
illusions. The EU wants to inflict a political and 
economic punishment on the UK. It is not enough for EU leaders to ensure that the UK economy does not succeed post-Brexit, they specifically want to ensure that the UK is very clearly seen to fail.

And EU leaders will do 
everything in their power to bring this failure to fruition, even at significant cost to their own economies.

Not only are EU leaders prepared to unleash economic punishment on the British people, they also don’t care about the economic damage they may inflict on their own citizens living in the UK, many of them young people who have escaped a desperate unemployment situation in their own countries and have successfully sought employment and made a new life in the UK.

It is understandable that 
the UK cannot be seen to enjoy as good a deal as that which we currently enjoy as an EU member, but on the basis of “pour encourager les autres”, it is not difficult to forecast that any EU deal on offer will almost certainly be unacceptable to the British Government – and the British people.

The Prime Minister is therefore right to say that no deal will be better than a bad deal. The government must be prepared, if necessary, to walk away from the negotiating table and be ready to fall back on World Trade Organisation rules – which would be infinitely more preferable to a punishment deal.

Bear in mind, the EU will also need to pay World Trade Organisation tariffs to the UK in order to sell their products into this country.

Some Remainers may think that a reversal of Brexit would the ideal outcome of a failed negotiation, with the ensuing result being that we remain in the EU.

But if the UK were to be allowed to remain in the EU, you can be sure that conditions will be imposed. For a start the UK rebate will end (they may even ask for earlier rebates to be reimbursed). We will probably be required to join Schengen, perhaps even commit to adopting the Euro and agree to the ever closer political union movement across the EU.

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The writing is on the wall. The EU will employ any means to retain its power and its control over the people.

Do we really want to have anything to do with such an organisation?

John Maguire is a retired 
UK diplomat. He lives in