Brexit – getting the deal over the line
Sir, – We have lost a crucial ally in our interactions with the EU and in the European Commission. This is to be very much regretted.
Having worked for a number of years in the European Commission, I can confirm that the UK always brought a very useful, pragmatic and questioning approach to commission policy formulation and at meetings.
Ireland and the UK were sometimes described by our French colleagues as having an “Anglo Saxon” view of matters under discussion (despite pointing out that Ireland was neither Saxon nor Anglo!).
The balance that the UK brought to the table, often to our advantage, will now be lost. That is a great pity. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Boris Johnson has the unbelievable chutzpah to accuse the EU of playing a “very clever trick” on the UK in its drafting of the Brexit agreement (“UK on ‘verge of historic mistake’ on Brexit deal vote, says Boris Johnson”, News, November 24th).
However, was it not leading Brexiteers, such as Boris Johnson, who themselves showed us that they were the master magicians during the referendum campaign capable of conjuring up “very clever tricks” designed to propagate various false and exaggerated claims and promises about the amazing benefits that the British public would receive after leaving the EU?
Primary among these was the factually misleading claim that leaving the EU would yield to the NHS £350 million every week, advertised by their omnipresent big red Brexit battle bus touring the UK with the cooked-up message printed large on its sides: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave”.
So it really is a bit rich of Mr Johnson to react with shock and horror when the EU actually resorts to fully legitimate means to protect its own interests, and for him to dare to smear these efforts as tricks.
It is also worth noting that the biggest and cleverest trick of all which the Brexiteers still continue to perform almost daily in the media is the one that involves them repeating ad nauseam their claim that the “democratic will” of the Leave voters – as was expressed in the 2016 Referendum – would “not be respected” were any second referendum eventually to be held.
But, turning the tables, exactly what “respect” was shown to the UK voting public by the Brexiteers during the referendum campaign when they fed the public a string of false claims and promises, all designed to hoodwink the voters about the fantasised alleged benefits of a Leave vote?
Unfortunately, the simple real truth is that the UK voting public were sold a sick and unhealthy pup by the Brexiteers when what they had in fact been promised by them was a fighting-fit British bulldog. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – British prime minister Theresa May’s assertion that not accepting her “deal”, imposed on her by the EU, will “open the door to divisions” rather misses the point. The deal has already divided her cabinet, her party and parliament.
“Brexit means Brexit”? Not so if it leaves the UK semi-detached from the EU she pledged to exit and still subject to European law.
It is always a bad sign when a British prime minister has to appeal over the heads of her colleagues and former colleagues (there are so many of those now), to “the people”, whose mandate has not been delivered. The “deal” accepted by Mrs May has been criticised, across the board, in the most visceral terms as a capitulation and a national humiliation.
Her insistence on “seeing through” such a deal is no virtue: it is embarrassing at this stage. She should have the grace to consider her position. – Yours, etc,