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MN, I don’t agree that there was ever a case where the UK (or any other country) would not be “allowed” to leave. The treaty contains a mechanism for a country to leave so they did anticipate the situation. There is definitely regret that the UK has left and people and politicians have opinions as to the merits of leaving or not to which they are entitled. Ultimately it was for the UK electorate and only them to decide.
I don’t agree the unpleasentness kicked off after the referendum just because the UK decided to leave. The fishing rights issue and the common agricultural policy have been causing arguments for years before Brexit was even a consideration. Also, Cameron never thought the UK would vote leave and consequently had no plan for the subsequent negotiations. Having no plan and the novelty of unwinding the previous 40 years of agreements was always going to be difficult and especially as it was the first time it happened. Brexiteers lied about how easy it was going to be and exercised deranged thinking in expecting to have their cake and eat it. The EU was never going to allow business as usual with a third country and why should they? No other trade agreement would or does allow one country to remove itself from obligations whilst at the same time retaining the benefits.
The UK and EU signed an agreement that finalised brexit, presumably both did so in good faith. The NI protocol is working well for NI business, they can sell into UK and into EU and is working as anticipated. Let the UK explain its reasons for declining some fishing boat licenses and let the French explain their objections so the rest of us can make a judgement as to who is acting in good faith or not. I suspect there is a bit of acting in bad faith on both sides.
The EU is being portrayed as the enemy in the DSaily Mail and others. Do you think NAFTA will allow the UK to enjoy the benefits without fulfilling obligations (like bleached chicken)?