Friends don't let friends stay in something as stupid as the EU - Credit, public domain

The only real surprise about this from Michel Barnier is how long it’s taken him to say it. That Chequers deal that Theresa May stitched together, the one that unstitched her Cabinet, fails as a method of persuading the European Union to do a deal. We all knew this was going to be so of course. We were never going to get any one of the four freedoms without accepting all four of them. So, no free movement of goods without the free movement of people, exactly the chasm bridging that the Chequers deal tried to achieve.

Michel Barnier has warned that attempts to appeal to EU leaders over his head were a waste of time as he rejected Theresa May’s proposals on customs after Brexit, in effect killing off the Chequers plan.

On Friday Theresa May travels to Austria to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis, before heading off on her summer holiday.

May’s trip follows the EU chief Brexit negotiator insisting there was no difference of opinion in European capitals to exploit.

On this specific deal that’s almost certainly true. On the whole idea of punishing Britain for having the temerity to leave probably less so. Our own expectation is that once the national capitals realise that a no deal Brexit means not having access to their own main financial market – you know, the one that funds their domestic industry – there will be something of a rethink over the heads of the bureaucrats in Brussels.

Michel Barnier effectively killed off Theresa May’s customs plan in Brussels on Thursday as he warned that the European Union would never accept British officials collecting duties on its behalf after Brexit.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator refused to accept that Britain had “evolved its position” and he offered no concessions in return for the Prime Minister’s soft Brexit plan, which led to the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson after crunch Cabinet talks at Chequers.

Effectively the deal on offer from Brussels is leave in name only or no deal. And the answer to that is Buh Bye Bubbas. When we not employing some rather more robust Anglo Saxonisms that is.


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What do you expect from a Frog (or at least that Frog)?
There is no English equivalent of “Chauvinism” or “Chutzpah”


Just stage 1 of May’s sellout, moving the concessions along a little bit at a time until it becomes in name only Brexit, but she can say look I tried


Oh my! compare the crystal-clear election mandate of “Repeal Obama-care,” the convention halls of Republicans instead chanting the undefinable “Repeal and Replace” (an agreement to fight on the battleground chosen by the enemy). When even the latter went down in flames, the only thing it was proper to say was that the deciding vote was from a dying former Prisoner-Of-War. If this parallel universe continues, your cue will be America’s zeroing out of the Individual Mandate; that is, to see the benefit reach the effective date, you will have to re-elect the same bastards — and hope they don’t betray… Read more »

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole

Barnier has no constituents and is therefore under no pressure to construct a deal beneficial for the European populace he supposedly represents. He is under very strong pressure to ensure the continuing dominance of the Commission, which apparently requires the administration of punishment beatings. He thinks Britain will have to take it, and I fear that under the useless May, we will.