The statement put out today by the European Union setting out their guidelines for negotiating with the UK over the next two years is "bound to create more division amongst EU nations", said Paul Nuttall, the UKIP Leader today.
"By wrapping the negotiations in a bureaucratic straitjacket all that they guarantee to do is highlight the already glaring differences of approach amongst the rump 27 nations in the bloc."
"As we near March 2019 and the UK''s final days as a member, national politicians in national capitals will realise that the package approved by Brussels will not be in their own specific interests nor that of their citizens.
"Brussels wishes to play hardball with the reciprocal rights of individual citizens. How will Poland, for example, react when 1 million plus Poles live in the UK and only about 30,000 UK citizens live in Poland and their rights are threatened? Those million citizens vote, so do their friends and families. Polish people will expect their own Government to do a deal to protect their own citizens. The EU’s rigid approach will be seen as the problem, not the UK.
"What we will see is the eternal centrifugal forces of European politics be strengthened by the central EU's inflexibility. They think they are being strong, but they are brittle.
"It is beholden on the UK government to get the best deal possible for the people of this country. To do so will require patience, flexibility, good will and imagination. Sadly none of these qualities are visible in the EU position paper.
"It appears that they have neither learned anything from the Brexit result, nor have they any desire so to do".