In his own words: Phil Hogan on Brexit and ‘the Three Stooges’

EU trade commissioner in waiting has carved out a reputation for tough talking on the UK’s negotiating stance

‘Don’t listen to the Three Stooges’ on the Irish Border, said Phil Hogan in reference to  Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, and Jaccob Rees-Mogg. Photographs: Getty

‘Don’t listen to the Three Stooges’ on the Irish Border, said Phil Hogan in reference to Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, and Jaccob Rees-Mogg. Photographs: Getty

 

“Prime minister Johnson’s hero is Winston Churchill and he seems to view himself as a modern day Churchill. However, in the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK government’s only Churchillian legacy will be: Never have so few done so much damage to so many.” - August 2019, following the change in leadership in London

“Naked hypocrisy would be an understatement for what I think about that.” - Commenting on the DUP’s negotiating stance on Brexit, March 2019

“We don’t even know if it’s legal, if it’s compatible with the World Trade Organisation rules. I think this is an ill-thought out proposal to change the news cycle in London.” - March 2019, dismissing British proposals to introduce a temporary tariff regime in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

“If she wants to advocate a policy that brings about starvation of the British people this is a good way of going about it.” - Commenting on a proposal from Tory MP Priti Patel that food shortages in Europe could be used as leverage to secure a better deal, December 2018.

EU trade commissioner nominee Phil Hogan: Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir
EU trade commissioner nominee Phil Hogan: Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

“For an agreement to take place, the issue needs to be, as Michel Barnier said, ‘de-dramatised’. The invisible border is essential for peace - don’t listen to the Three Stooges [Johnson, Farage, Rees-Mogg], they don’t know the first thing about it.” - September 2018, speaking as pressure mounted on Theresa May’s government over the withdrawal agreement.

“Stepping into Global Britain is stepping into a difficult world. And there will be a huge gap between hope and experience… Global Britain will mean for the United Kingdom a return to medium-sized nation status.” - Commenting on the British government’s Global Britain strategy for the UK’s future outside the EU, April 2018.

“For much of the year the UK was apparently unable to understand the Brexit implications for our joint land Border, believing that Brexit started and ended with money. It was only when the issue landed on prime minister Theresa May’s desk at five minutes-to-midnight that Ireland was able to get a proper hearing.” - January 2018, on the negotiation of the UK-EU withdrawal agreement.