Mon Mar 6, 2017 5:15PM
UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond (L) and UK Ambassador to the EU Timothy Barrow take part in an Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting at the European Council, in Brussels, on January 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond (L) and UK Ambassador to the EU Timothy Barrow take part in an Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting at the European Council, in Brussels, on January 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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Ian Williams, a senior analyst with the Foreign Policy in Focus believes that Britain would be “playing with fire” if it chooses to appear tough in Brexit talks, adding that it would be in the best interest of London to act “smoothly” over how the country should leave the continental bloc.

His remarks came after British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said the UK will “fight back” to get what it wants in talks with the European Union to leave the bloc.

“They [the British government] provoked the referendum … and have no backup plans whatsoever, [and] no contingency plans whatsoever for leaving. They really just thought they could get away with a pretend referendum and then carry on [their] business as normal,” the analyst told Press TV in an interview on Monday.

The analyst opined that if Britain leaves the European Union, “it would be disruptive to both sides,” adding that now the European Union is possibly thinking about the Netherlands, Italy, France or even Greece pulling out of the Eurozone.

Williams further criticized the British government for giving up on manufacturing industry, asserting that such approach has left British industry “defenseless” in the face of foreign competitors.

“There are huge complex issues to be dealt with and it would be nice if they are dealt with goodwill,” he emphasized.  

In a landmark referendum held on June 23, nearly 52 percent of British voters, amounting to more than 17 million citizens, opted to leave the EU, a decision that sent shock waves throughout the world.

Those in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU argued that outside the bloc, London would be better positioned to conduct its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration, and free from what they called excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.

Those in favor of remaining in the bloc believed that leaving it would risk the UK's prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.