Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

Brussels Eurocrats still want to punish the British ‘deserters’ | UK | News

Mr Hannan said: “They were all keyed up to loathe Boris Johnson, the man they blamed for swinging the 2016 referendum. “But look at the body language on display at the PM’s meetings in France and Germany. Where Theresa May was wooden, passive, unable to deviate from a script, Boris is funny, charming, in control of the situation.

“Heads of government are human, too.

“They are as likely as anyone else to respond to warmth.”

But, Mr Hannan, writing in The Telegraph, said it is possible but unlikely that Mr Johnson’s charm will be enough to secure a deal.

He said: “On paper, the EU has every reason to look for a compromise.

“Britain has put vast concessions on the table which will be whipped away if no agreement is struck: a continuing role for EU judges, a lopsided arbitration mechanism, a £39 billion payment that no international tribunal would uphold and, not least, two years of non-voting membership.

“Surely, you might think, Brussels will accept these surrenders, rather than lose everything, including the backstop.

Mr Hanna lays out the contradiction he sees at the basis of the EU’s stance, as “you must accept the backstop that we claim is the only way of preventing a hard border, otherwise we might have to, er, impose a hard border”.

He claimed that the EU does not act rationally, saying that, “If it were a rational actor, it would not have imposed the euro.”

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He added: “Many Brussels functionaries are still miffed about the referendum result.”

“They want to cut Britain down to size, to show that even a large and wealthy country cannot be truly sovereign in the 21st century.

“If that involves making people on both sides of the Channel worse off, so be it.”

Mr Hannan also said: “They might even have convinced themselves that, if they make the terms harsh enough, we will reverse our decision.

“The only device left to Remainer MPs is a no-confidence motion, and it is now clear that Boris would respond by toughing it out and forcing a dissolution.

“How many Labour MPs could expect to hold their seats in a snap election?

“Even if the opinion polls were to turn around, how many of them really want a Corbyn-led government?”

The Tory MEP is optimistic of the post-Brexit economy, saying, “If Britain responds to a no deal with unilateral tariff reductions, Germany and Britain will both suffer a loss of GDP of around 0.5 per cent – not the end of the world for either country.

He added: “The key EU goal is to deter what Jean-Claude Juncker calls “deserters”.

“They would rather see all sides suffer than watch an independent Britain prosper.

“Hence Donald Tusk’s insistence yesterday that he was not prepared to discuss no deal.

“He evidently still hopes that refusing to talk about mitigating measures might bring Britain to heel.”

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