It really wasn't supposed to be like this. Brussels has a clear plan of exactly how the negotiations should go; First, they set out what the result of the negotiations will be. Then secondly they use a variety of methods to belittle, demoralise and shake the incapable British delegation. Thirdly, Britain must comply absolutely with the EU timetable, do homework as it is set and produce documents and agreements on demand and in the order laid out by Brussels. Only if the EU's negotiation plan is strictly adhered to can an orderly Brexit be achieved.
But there is a problem. The EU's massive armoured thrust has over-extended itself and has run out of steam; the British have just stood aside to allow it to pass and closed ranks again. We haven't handed in our homework as ordered. We haven't agreed to stuff as we were supposed to. The Federasts thought we would be crawling by now - but instead David Davis and his team seem to grow in confidence by the day, their position clear and firm. We are willing to make concessions if the EU make equivalent concessions in return. We are ready to negotiate. Our team have this power - but it's turning out that Herr Barnier has not.
There is also a rule in negotiations that one always keeps a tier or two clear of the fray - cooler heads, not too close to the battle, who can maintain a quiet dialogue if needed. David Davis has successfully cast himself in this role, leaving the muppets such as 'Shagger' Johnson to hurl barbs at the Federasts to stand aloof himself from the fray. Sadly, Herr Barnier has failed to do the same - meaning Davis' recourse must be to Herr Juncker. But the biggest problem is that Herr Barnier has absolutely no freedom to negotiate; he's been ordered to achieve the assault's objectives by T+7, T+21 and so on and forbidden from retreating one millimetre, even to 'straighten the line'.
And today as the EU's assault runs out of steam, the German car manufacturers are the first to break ranks and voice their nervousness. We need to continue the terms of the single market for a lengthy transition period, they whine; our car sales in the Reich are down by 3.4% this year already, we can't take a Brexit hit on top without job losses and plant closures.
Well, fair enough. That suits us all. So long as they don't expect a penny of British tax money to prop up their failing empire beyond 2019. All they have to do now is to give Herr Barnier some authority to negotiate.