Think Scotland said the European Union was becoming increasingly confused and divided in the face of UK negotiators – whose energy was described as a “welcome surprise”.
Consultant Miles Saltiel, writing for the think tank, said the UK faced a far easier task gaining support for its policies than the EU, who would eventually crumble under infighting.
He said Prime Minister Theresa May needed only to “align England with the devolved regions [and] get consumers and competitors of imported labour to reconcile” whereas the EU faced a far trickier task.
He wrote: “How much tougher for the EU, corralling a hydra-headed superstructure and two dozen plus nations?
“Both sides have toyed with splitting the other. At home, we remain mesmerised by Leavers vs Remainers, but the EU27 has its own fissures – budget contributors vs consumers, exporters of goods vs exporters of labour.”
He likened the EU’s red-line Brexit issues to a car driver ditching his steering wheel during a game of ‘chicken’ – a reckless move aimed to guarentee victory but which most likely signals his own doom.
Mr Saltiel said: “Think of Brussels’ position-papers as though the steering-wheel thrown out of the car by fifties dragsters playing ‘chicken’. Then again, the UK is able to exploit sixty years of EU shakedowns, leaving it unpopular with other international traders.
“The prospect of deals with third parties has Brussels rattled.
He accused the desperate EU of quickly reverting to “smoke and mirrors” and “bamboozling and bullying” in a bid to frustrate the UK.
Mr Saltiel said: “Once negotiations kick in, it is time for meaningless detail intended to distract the other side. The EU is constitutionally well-suited to this sort of malarkey, bamboozling and bullying the smaller countries with which it has struck trade deals.
“Its local cheerleaders purport to take its flimflam seriously – the rest of us need not.”
He concluded by advising UK negotiators to stay patient and not be intimidated by the EU’s red-line isues, claiming the union would become divided long before these become ultimatums.
He said: “After some initial surprise, the UK has found its game face, taking advantage of the EU’s missteps and laying the ground to score off its weaknesses.
“I would make less of the formal bear-traps in wait for the EU by reason of its inevitable breaches of confidentiality, and more of its history…