A tip for readers: whenever you see a phrase like „the EU’s legalistic position” in an article, it means that the writer or the person they are quoting really doesn’t have anything much by way of an argument —and neither, generally, by way of a clue— and is simply trying to throw a bit of shade by implying inflexibility.
That they often get away with this is partly down to the mythology over-developed in the UK media of poor Britain’s victimisation at the hands of arbitrary EU bureaucrats undermining the UK’s interests with capricious immunity.
It’s all nonsense! The EU can act only within the limits specified in the relevant treaties. „Legalistic” —i.e. acting according to the rules agreed and enshrined in treaties and laws— is the only possible way to run an organisation accountable to 28 different sovereign Members States: how could it possibly be otherwise?
Whenever any EU civil servant does something then they know they had better have a rule they can reference to provide backing for their action (or to at least guarantee it’s permissibility) or else there is bound to be somebody out of 1/2 billion population who will object and who could win a case before the ECJ.
So please, stop the embarrassing wailing about the consequences of rules that were willingly signed up to and often even promoted by the UK, and start asking sensible questions of your own leaders as to how they have been —and continue to be— so utterly ignorant and incompetent!