Michel Barnier is the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator but an Express.co.uk poll has found the majority of readers would prefer Ursula von der Leyen to lead the talks. The poll, carried out from 11am-9pm on Wednesday June 17, asked: “Who should lead Brexit talks for the EU?”
Readers could choose from Mr Barnier, Ms von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Ms von Der Leyen received the most backing with 38 percent of the 2,288 respondents (871 people) voting for the EU chief.
Ms Merkel came in second, with 34 percent of the vote (786 people), while Mr Barnier trailed in third with just 11 percent backing (246 people).
The French President came in last however, with just three percent of the vote (80 people).
Fourteen percent of respondents (305 people) opted for “don’t know”.
The post-Brexit trade talks have reached a crucial stage in recent weeks, as time is running out for the two sides to reach a deal.
Mr Barnier has repeatedly lashed out at the UK bemoaning the lack of progress being made in talks and he has criticised Britain for demands made over what should be included in any trade deal.
The EU negotiator has also urged the UK to consider extending the transition period to allow more time for the two sides to negotiate a deal – but such a stance was firmly rejected by Boris Johnson.
One person said: “I voted for Frau Merkel as Germany has so much to lose with a no deal.”
Another user said: “VDL is the most easily intimidated, but it makes little difference because the chances of a deal that suits or benefits the UK in any way being ratified and not vetoed are minimal at best.”
But many readers suggested it didn’t matter who was in charge of the talks.
One person said: “Does it matter, they don’t listen.”
Another person wrote: “It doesn’t matter who! Their only wish is to either tie us in a straight jacket to EU rules!
“Or to punish us for having the temerity to vote to leave their precious project!”
A third wrote: “It doesn’t matter who they pick. All they’ll do is look out for themselves – best off with no deal.”
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