John Redwood warned the EU wanted to “play up differences between Scotland and the UK” during Brexit talks which have recently stalled. The ardent Brexiteer warned Downing Street had “genuflected” to the Republic of Ireland and the SNP – opening a crack in the armour which the EU had exploited.
Fears over the collapse of the Union with Scotland, and a growing push for Irish reunification, showed the EU the “UK was nervous and weak”.
This gave Brussels the confidence to hold out “for unreasonable terms in the withdrawal talks”.
He added: “The EU saw Scotland and Ireland as ways to keep the UK under EU laws, making concessions on fish, budgets and much else.
“They worked well with those who wanted to break up the UK.”
It comes as the SNP is attempting to pass a bill through Holyrood which would keep Scotland linked with the EU after Brexit.
Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell MSP said the new Bill will mean, on devolved matters, Scottish law can keep in line with those in Europe “when appropriate and practicable to do so”.
Referring to bids from Scotland like this, Mr Redwood said the EU saw Scotland and Ireland as ways to keep the UK under EU laws by making “concessions on fish, budgets and much else.”
“They worked well with those who wanted to break up the UK,” he exclaimed.
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He said he had no plans to meet his British counterpart, David Frost, this week, before adding on Wednesday: “But perhaps next week, if conditions allow.”
Mr Barnier stressed an agreement needs to be reached by October 31st if “we are to ensure the ratification of a new treaty in a secure way before the end of the year”.
Disagreements over state aid rules and fishing quotas have so far thwarted a deal.
Beyond the biggest stumbling blocks, differences also linger in discussions on migration, security, dispute-settling mechanisms, human rights guarantees and other areas.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the negotiations will enter their decisive phase over the coming weeks.
She claimed that both sides should have “clarity” over whether an agreement should be possible before the end of the transition period.