Author: TIM NEWARK
It also reveals that it is the antimigrant populist governments now in charge. Yet with trouble in their own backyard EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier insists on continuing to give the UK a hard time over reaching a reasonable agreement on Brexit.
It beggars belief and makes me think we’ve got this all the wrong way round. We should have left the EU promptly after the referendum result in 2016 and then taken a leisurely time negotiating future trade terms afterwards.
Desperate for our money to solve their many crises, including mass migration, Brussels would have soon sharpened its thoughts on a deal advantageous to us both.
With her coalition on the brink of collapse Chancellor Merkel managed to avoid any immediate threat to her leadership this week by saying illegal migrants entering Germany should be returned to the EU countries they came from.
But she immediately undermined this by saying that any agreement should be voluntary. The gesture is meaningless because Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Czechs have already shut their borders to any more migrants.
The further proposal that potential immigrants into Europe should be held in North African “processing centres” is in response to Italy and Malta not accepting any more so-called refugees transported across the Mediterranean by charity ships.
Hungary has even passed laws to stop refugee charity organisations assisting illegal migrants to cross their frontiers. It is these populist governments in the driving seat now, not the pompous out-of-touch bureaucrats in Brussels, and Theresa May should prick Barnier’s bubble by taking a tougher line on Brexit.
Even the once mighty Merkel has been brought down by the reality of her own political weakness when her interior minister Horst Seehofer threatened to resign unless his Bavarian border was tightened against the flow of migrants.
The defection of his party the CSU would rupture a German conservative alliance that has lasted since the end of the Second World War Seehofer had to talk tough because the German hardline anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany is taking votes from him.
He may have blinked momentarily to accept a fudged deal but Merkel’s precarious hold on power is clear to everyone – and it’s all her own fault.
Merkel’s unilateral decision to let in hundreds of thousands of migrants into the EU in 2015 and then insist that other nations accept them led directly to the rise of the populist Right in Germany and across Europe.
It is the greatest danger to EU unity. So, you would have thought, at the moment of their most profound weakness, Barnier and his Brussels henchmen would want to shore up good relations with a sensible, helpful, prosperous country such as the UK.
But no, they are so blind in their determination to punish us for having the temerity to vote Leave that they would rather further wreck the sinking ship of the EU than give us a mutually beneficial good deal.
They are taking this reckless stance because they perceive an even greater disunity and weakness in our own Government. To be honest it’s hardly surprising when you have British Remoaner MEPs and their liberal elite hangers-on queueing in the corridors of Brussels to encourage them to block us.
I found it quite shocking recently to see, caught on camera in C4’s Carry On Brussels documentary, British Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder walking into a secret meeting with a foreign politician, Guy Verhofstadt, to discuss ways of subverting the democratic will of the British people.
It’s some of our very own citizens, people such as philosopher AC Grayling and MEP Bearder, who are urging those foreign negotiators to frustrate us at every turn in the hope of bringing Brexit to a grinding halt.
It’s no surprise they told the cameras to stop filming them discussing the details of their machinations behind closed doors.
Still, that’s no worse than the systemic defeatism that infests our liberal establishment at home.
When our own chief EU adviser Oliver Robbins says we’ve got no chance of getting a good deal in Brexit negotiations you’ve got to wonder at the calibre of some of our civil servants and politicians who can’t wait to throw in the towel when the going gets tough.
Just when the EU is at its weakest, stricken by electoral turmoil and profound disagreement over mass migration, we should be at our boldest in pressing for a good Brexit. Germany, France and the rest need friends like us to help maintain fair trade and security across the Continent.
It is very short-sighted of them to treat us like enemies.
Now is the time for national unity to secure the best deal for Britain.
Surely we cannot pluck defeat from the jaws of victory? From trade to immigration the liberal establishment is determined to water down Brexit but the likes of Jacob ReesMogg and Boris Johnson are right to encourage Theresa May to stick to her guns and deliver a meaningful and positive Brexit.
These are politicians who genuinely want to see the best for this country and it is that attitude that must prevail as the Government puts its final touches to our exit from the troubled EU.