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.
Barnier has dismissed the Chequers Proposal, stating that it would be illegal for the EU to hand over its customs policy to a non EU member state. Time to ditch the Chequers Plan for good. #Brexit #Chequers pic.twitter.com/XgNYGzW0J3
— Continental Telegraph (@ConTelNews) July 27, 2018
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.