In his paywalled article for the DT Iain Duncan Smith brings chapter and verse about the EU’s way of negotiating: “The EU has negotiated in bad faith all along” (paywalled link). The following passages show how and why this statement is fact not fiction. He starts with a short look back at what happened during May’s negotiations:
“Who can forget Theresa May’s deplorable withdrawal agreement, among whose many sins the worst was the Irish backstop? It was a trap made possible by Dublin’s demand that there be no hard border on the island of Ireland: the EU have long believed that this was the anvil upon which they could smash Brexit. And it was entrapment by design. Enda Kenny, the predecessor of the current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, started work to mitigate the need for a hard border. After taking office, however, Varadkar scrapped that work and insisted on the backstop – even though it had been clear for many months that alternative arrangements could be effective.” (paywalled link)
The next paragraphs bring information straight from the horse’s, i.e. Mr Duncan Smith’s mouth, which he then connects to that Merkel phone talk yesterday morning:
“We know this because Varadkar and the EU have previously said that in the event of no deal there need not be a hard border on the EU’s side. I happened to meet Michel Barnier shortly after. I asked him to explain how he would achieve that open border. At first, he refused to answer but after some pressing, his assistant said that they would have any checks away from the border. I responded that he was simply describing what had been proposed by the UK side. He replied that what the EU did on their side was none of our business and what we did wasn’t any of theirs.
This wilfully destructive attitude continues to pervade everything. Instead of genuine and serious engagement with Boris Johnson’s alternative proposals, Varadkar has dismissed them out of hand. Now sadly, we see that Angela Merkel has followed suit by indicating that she doesn’t see any hope of an agreement unless the UK surrenders to the EU’s terms. Varadkar, Merkel and the others appear to believe that nothing less than the UK abandoning our sovereign territory of Northern Ireland in the Customs Union will do.
That much is apparent from the conversation between Merkel and our PM, yesterday. What’s clear is that EU leaders seem to wish us either to ostracise a vital part of our nation or for the whole of the UK to remain in the customs union, preventing us from striking new trade deals. And all this for the convenience of Irish exporters who are reliant on us as either as a destination market or as a land bridge to the continent.” (paywalled link)
It has clearly never been about negotiating properly but about keeping the UK inside the SM and CU – with our submission to the ECJ as cherry on the icing. Duncan Smith continues:
“Boris’s new plan is an enormous compromise. He has worked hard to find ways of reaching common ground. One reason why the EU has hardly even tried to meet him there has been the behaviour of Remainers in Westminster. Too many of those people in Parliament who say they want a deal then supported the Benn Act which, by leaving the EU under no pressure to strike agreements, has made a deal pretty much impossible.
But the EU’s behaviour is worrying on its own terms. Even if they sign up to Boris’s plan and a political declaration which stipulates that both sides will work towards a free-trade agreement, how can we trust people who have shown every sign of wanting to punish us for the crime of delivering on a democratic vote? The terms of the transition phase suit them rather nicely, with the UK trapped with no voting rights or veto so what’s to say they won’t just keep forcing us to extend it, particularly as we still pay them billions of pounds?” (paywalled link)
Precisely – and that question becomes even more important when we look at the various reports in our MSM, hidden away in ‘business sections’, never to be picked up by the Remain Cabal! The EU needs our money – that’s not some nebulous Leave accusation, it’s fact. Iain Duncan Smith concludes:
“It is beyond obvious now that the only way for the UK to strike a deal with the EU is from the outside. By testing the patience of both the public and the Government, that is where the EU’s intransigence and bad faith have left us. And perhaps that will be better for all sides. A free trade deal is in everyone’s interests, but we can do one more quickly and more equitably when we are not at the mercy of an EU which wishes to hamstring our competitive ability. Tariff and regulatory arrangements can be made immediately after we have left.
And the EU might finally see the need to compromise, if they are to get help with their budget and are to protect their industry from a tariff war. The bottom line is: we have to leave the EU on October 31, and my party must do whatever it takes to achieve that.” (paywalled link)
Yes, well … as far as the EU is concerned, their ideology of an EU Empire (remember Mr Verhofstadt’s speech at the LibDem conference?) must be adhered to at all costs. British pragmatism, long absent from our government negotiations (thank you, Ms May and ‘Sir’ Olly Robbins!) is hopefully now coming to the fore.
However, given the Remain ideologues in the HoC and sadly in the Tory Party, I am still doubtful that common sense might triumph in the end.