We’re now all playing ‘Blind Man’s Buff’, according to a headline in a German paper. The author is a former German Ambassador to GB. It shows devastatingly how little our colleagues on the Continent have really understood about Brexit and about Britain.
Our own Remain MSM report the consternation in Brussels and about the hardening of the fronts.There won’t be any negotiations after last night’s defeat. See e.g. here
“EU sources told the BBC’s Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming the bloc has “ruled] out a special summit or the reopening of the Withdrawal Agreement in the strongest terms this evening.”
Or see e.g. here:
“EU boss Donald Tusk last night warned that Brexit could be cancelled after Theresa May suffered the biggest defeat in British political history. The President of the European Council slammed the UK’s indecision and said a deal was now “impossible” just moments after the Prime Minister’s plan for leaving the EU was crushed by 432 votes to 202.”
Another piece of information comes from a German paper, reporting that Juncker went to Brussels yesterday in the hope that Ms May’s defeat wouldn’t be too big so that he could then offer an extension to Article 50, to convince the ‘doubters’ – but that option was null and void after the crushing defeat. (source, in German)
The appalling proposal by Mr Tusk, to cancel Brexit, says more about the way EU politicians think about democracy than any long analysis!
I believe that the EU have boxed themselves into a corner by insisting that there won’t be any negotiations. From Juncker down, they simply have not understood why we, the people and our representatives, simply do not, cannot, accept the ‘Backstop’, and do not trust their honeyed words. Here are some more remarks by M Juncker illustrating this nicely:
“I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. […] The Withdrawal Agreement is a fair compromise and the best possible deal. It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe. It is the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.The European Commission, and notably our Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, has invested enormous time and effort to negotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. We have shown creativity and flexibility throughout. I, together with President Tusk, have demonstrated goodwill again by offering additional clarifications and reassurances in an exchange of letters with Prime Minister May earlier this week.” (Source) (my bold).
Sorry to be flippant, but one can only say ‘boo-hoo’ when reading this!
Juncker thus set the tone for the continental papers’ reports this morning, copied by our MSM, in an endless play of ping-pong. Some expressions, such as the EU having to help us and rescue us from Brexit, have been used before, e.g. by Mr Verhofstadt. Others, like ‘unorderly Brexit’ and ‘crashing out’, come from our own ‘friends’.
Moreover, looking at the comments by both journalists and ordinary posters in German papers, it is obvious that their MSM are all for Remain, thanks to their London correspondents who get their information from our Remain MSM. For nearly 2 ½ years they keep asking why we Brits always want something extra, some ‘special treatment’, and why we cannot make proper proposals.
It seems to have escaped their notice that negotiations take place between two sides, that we didn’t dictate to Barnier and the EU what ‘treaty’ to accept!
None have made the effort to hear the Brexit arguments, unless it’s to sneer at them. Even those who profess to ‘love us Brits, really’, even those who have lived or live in London, like that former German Ambassador, have failed to understand that Great Britain is not like France or Germany, only with more rain and fog. The reams of paper and hordes of pixels having been written about our totally different Constitution and Laws, from Magna Carta down, seem to have passed them by completely.
However, one would have assumed that at least M Barnier, if not M Tusk and Juncker, would’ve been cognisant of the point made by British lawyers, from the Attorney General to the redoubtable Mr Martin Howe QC, that the ‘reassurances’ from Brussels about the Backstop are not legally binding whereas the Backstop in the WA is, with all that implies for the status of the Union.
Here’s a flavour of the tone now adopted, the tone we can look forward to, treating us, people and politician alike, like hapless idiots:
“Attention, Brussels: your hour is coming. Since the Brits obviously cannot help themselves, another saviour must come – and that can only be the partner on the other side of the channel, with the motto ‘do you want to let the Brits escape the EU without deal, to the political and especially economical detriment of the whole EU?” (my translation, source).
The author, Mr Kielinger, was perhaps trying a bit too hard for ‘British Irony’ (it misfired!), but he is serious: there won’t be negotiations, the WA deal it is, the Backstop it is, to protect the ‘Irish Partner’ – because that’s what has been negotiated, he writes.
Conveniently overlooked by him is the little fact that the WA Deal needed to be agreed to in Parliament. Didn’t they all celebrate that there would have to be a ‘meaningful vote’? But in good old EU manner, a vote is only meaningful when it goes along with EU proposals. The next quote shows this nicely:
“The top of the EU doesn’t trust the predictability of British politics, and every accommodation is accompanied by the suspicion that it will get voted down in Parliament anyway.” (my translation, same source)”
Accordingly, the only way out is a 2nd referendum, and that is what the combined forces of Brussels and EU member states, Germany first and foremost, will now push onto us.
They haven’t understood what we Brits are all about, that our Parliament is not there to pass Government and EU legislation as and when told to.
That’s what yesterday’s vote showed in exemplary fashion. As Jacob Rees Mogg made clear: we have the legislation in place to leave the EU on March 29th. Since the EU is on record as not granting an extension, never mind renegotiate, and since they don’t trust us or our Parliament anyway, then out we go, clamours for a 2nd referendum notwithstanding.
The EU have made their own bed, they have been caught in their own trap.
We will Leave.