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May The Brexit Negotiations Begin.

J.N. PAQUET photo
J.N. PAQUETLondon
May The Brexit Negotiations Begin.
Can voting on 8 June make any difference? Can it help make Britain a better place at all? Think about it… Think about the future… a very close future… Now, think about what Theresa May leading the Brexit negotiations could look like…

Brussels, 20 June 2017.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Brexit Secretary David Davis, strong of their landslide victory just two weeks ago in the General Election, finally sat at the negotiation table in Brussels, yesterday, in front of the EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and his team representing the EU27.

A damning account of the meeting in the German newspaper Der Spiegel has made it into English, and it has caused consternation at Westminster as well as in every capital of the European Union.

The highlights were:

- David Davis caused an awkward silence after he told a bad joke to Michel Barnier as an icebreaker.  

- Michel Barnier became alarmed when Boris Johnson showed up in the middle of the meeting, unannounced, smiling and shouting: “Build-A-Wall! Build-A-Wall!”

- At the close of the meeting, Barnier said the British team “was just a bunch of deluded people who haven’t got a clue what they are doing here.” 

According to the leaked report, the moment she sat at the negotiation table, “the Prime Minister started ranting about Brexit meaning Brexit.”

“Monsieur Barnier, I am here to make a success of Brexit! Jeremy Corbyn was not prepared. I am prepared. I am not alone and naked. I am a bloody difficult woman, you know? With me, there will be no running commentary. What I want is a red, white and blue Brexit, because Brexit means Brexit.”

At that point, Michel Bernier and his team are reported to have remained gobsmacked for a while. And she kept going:

“It is the will of the people. I want a clean Brexit. I will secure a good deal for Britain. But I warn you… no deal is better than a bad deal!”

“I have said it and I say it again: no deal is better than a bad deal because a bad deal is one as I say. I know those in Europe who want to punish us and I want to tell them I am not willing to sign up to anything.”

“What I have is the confidence that I will be able to negotiate a good deal with the right negotiating hand, with the strength and mandate behind me that I bring in these negotiations.”

Michel Bernier did try to ask Theresa May a couple of question though: “We would like to see the EU and the UK find a common interest in maintaining tariff-free trade. Do you agree with that?”

“Listen, I gave the answer I gave. I want an orderly Brexit. I am a strong and stable leader at this table. I have strengthened my hand in these talks by crushing the saboteurs who wanted to prevent me from delivering Brexit. So, you should be happy that you didn’t have to negotiate with the coalition of chaos! I will deliver Brexit even if it is to be devilishly complex.”

“When will you tell us what your negotiation demands are?” Michel Barnier then asked.

“You will see what we demand when we demand it.” The PM answered, with both David Davis and Boris Johnson smiling at the end of the table.

Theresa May has since described the whole thing as “Brussels gossip” which is Westminster-speak for “Oh my God! Why do they keep publishing everything we say out there?”

It was also published in the French newspaper Le Monde, this morning, that Michel Barnier had a phone call with Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and the 27 leaders of the European Union to tell them that there was “no hope for a soft-Brexit, whatsoever”.

Is Brexit doomed? Yes. British voters, who have given Mrs May a landslide victory to the Prime Minister, had, in fact, signed a blank cheque for her to go on with her hard-Brexit. Now, more than ever, it looks like the talks will end in tears and all European citizens living and working in Britain could soon see their rights go up in smoke.

What the Der Spiegel story reveals is not that the British government isn’t prepared for the talks — we knew already that the government had no plan since the day Theresa May told us “Brexit means Brexit”. It’s that our European partners have now realised that the team on the other side of the table never actually had the intention to negotiate anything at all. A very hard-Brexit is now going to follow and there is nothing the British voters will live to regret not having prevented the Conservatives and Theresa May from being in government for the Brexit negotiations. The Tories have such a large majority in the House of Commons that they are already talking about reversing workers rights, prohibiting strikes, getting on with the NHS privatisation and ending the fox ban, among many changes in Britain’s policies.

Is it too late to say sorry? Unfortunately, it is. Voters had one chance to change Britain’s future. That was on 8 June 2017. ◼︎

Note: This was a political fiction satire. There is indeed still time to change Britain’s future…

On 8 June, vote!

(This article was first published on the Politics Magazine PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)

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J.N. PAQUET is an author, journalist and political writer. He is the editor of PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. His book series on populism and nationalism “The Tip of The Populist Iceberg?” is available in print, eBook and audiobook worldwide.




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