Shearman and Sterling partner, Barney Reynolds, claimed there are individuals within the EU that wished to see the UK fail after cutting ties with the bloc. During an interview with Express.co.uk, the expert from the top legal firm claimed that the Belgium MEP, Guy Verhofstadt, has become irrelevant despite initially hoping to see the UK “fail” in Brexit trade talks.
Mr Reynolds said: “Sadly, some in the EU wants to see a detriment to the UK economically from leaving the EU.
“Which I have mentioned is unnecessary.”
Mr Reynolds clarified that he did not believe it was member states that wanted to see the UK fail but rather individuals within the European Union.
Mr Reynolds continued: “I don’t think it is any particular nation that has that view but I think it is individuals and groups of people.
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“Whether they genuinely have these views or it is just a posture at the moment I don’t know.
“Some of the people that had this view about the UK have disappeared off the scene, people like Guy Verhofstadt.
“It is a cynical and rather unpleasant viewpoint, especially from a partner that has traded on very close terms for decades.
“But there are still people who say that.”
“That is a big question and if you look at the EU’s situation with the eurozone and COVID-19 there is a massive economic issue facing the EU.”
Both the EU and Britain have admitted the current Brexit trade talks are proving unsuccessful as the stalemate continues.
Mr Reynolds insisted the EU has been asking too much from the UK Government in the discussions.
He also added they may have gained this confidence to ask for too much from dealing with Theresa May and her Brexit negotiating team.