Yanis Varoufakis: The EU will punish Britain

A mutually advantageous exit deal would be the "greatest nightmare for Mrs Merkel and Mr Juncker"

Yanis Varoufakis: The EU will punish Britain

Yanis Varoufakis. Image: Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press

Former Greek Financial Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has warned that the UK's Brexit negotiations will be a painful process for Britain.

He said that the UK is entering, "into a negotiation that will never happen"

Speaking to Channel 4, he added that the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier is a "strawman" who is:

"Programmed like an algorithm to parrot the same line which is, 'We are going to have a two-phase negotiation process during which you, Ms May, will give me everything that we want so that we can graduate to the second phase. Where you actually tell me what you might want out of us."

He described the EU's approach to Brexit negotiations as a "declaration of hostilities."

The economist believes that Europe has no interest in a mutually advantageous exit deal, as it would be the "greatest nightmare for Mrs Merkel and Mr Juncker," and other figures across the EU.

"They want to punish Britain, even if it means a mutually disadvantageous deal for the peoples of Europe," he concluded.

Mr Varoufakis was Greece's finance minister between January and July of 2015 and took part in a series of volatile EU meetings as the country tried to renegotiate its bailout deal.