EU 'petrified' Brexit success will spark huge revolt against Brussels 'dictatorship'

EUROPEAN leaders are "petrified" of a Brexit success for the UK and will try to keep Britain shackled to the bloc's customs union to avoid future rebellions against their "dictatorship" from other member states, claimed Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith.

The former Conservative leader told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer he believes the 's strategy has been to keep the UK in the customs union all along. Mr Duncan Smith argued the Brussels bloc used Northern Ireland as a "pawn" in the negotiations in a bid to control the damage a successful UK exit will cause to the union. He said: “The truth is that they’ve been negotiating I think for some time in completely bad faith.

“What they’ve been absolutely certain about is that they do not want the UK to leave the European Union and succeed.

“And succeeding means having the ability to set trade deals and that means not being in the customs union.

“So their whole plan has been more than the single market is to try and get the UK trapped in the customs union.

“Northern Ireland was always a pawn in this game because they are petrified.

READ MORE: Pound to euro exchange rate: Pound plummets - Brexit deal ‘impossible’

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Brexit news: EU rejected Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals (Image: GETTY)

brexit news european union customs union iain duncan smith boris johnson

Brexit news: Iain Duncan Smith claims EU is 'petrified' the UK will be successful after Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Their whole plan has been more to get the UK trapped in the customs union

Iain Duncan Smith

“This is the reality: the EU is absolutely petrified. I’ve got many people I know who are over there saying they are absolutely petrified that if the UK leaves, makes a success of this being outside of the customs union, then all of the sudden the glue that binds the European Union starts to cut away.

“And others begin to ask the question remind me again of what is the benefit of being in this dictatorial organisation that is a top-down and deeply inflexible setup.

“And the answer would be not much, actually.”

It comes as talks between the UK and the EU have once again come to a standstill after Brussels refused to accept Boris Johnson's latest proposals. 

The Prime Minister's plan envisaged Northern Ireland to remain in the EU single market but leave the bloc's customs union in an attempt to replace the controversial backstop protocol agreed between former Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU.

The Prime Minister and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke extensively on the phone about Mr Johnson’s proposals to the EU.

However, a source has said that Ms Merkel has made it clear that a deal based on Mr Johnson’s proposals is now “overwhelmingly unlikely”.

But Ms Merkel’s office has said it will not comment on “private” conversations.

The BBC’s Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming has said there was “scepticism” within the EU that Ms Merkel would have used that kind of language.

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Brexit countdown calendar: What happens next? (Image: EXPRESS)
President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent a warning on Twitter to Mr Johnson yesterday which said the UK is playing a “stupid blame game”.

He also said the future of the EU and the UK is currently at stake.

He wrote: “Boris Johnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game.

“At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people.

“You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?”

With reaching a deal by October 31 looking more and more unlikely, Mr Johnson and the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have said they hope to meet again later in the week.