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Europhile Nick Clegg Admits ‘Soft Brexit Dead,’ UK Will Leave Single Market

Britain's former Deputy Prime Minister, and former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, speaks during a rally following an anti Brexit, pro-European Union (EU) march in London on March 25, 2017, ahead of the British government's planned triggering of Article 50 next week. Britain will launch the process of …
CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty
LIAM DEACON

Former Liberal Democrat leader and anti-Brexit campaigner Nick Clegg has said the UK will leave the European Union’s (EU) Single Market and Customs Union.

Mr. Clegg, who recently published a book called How to Stop Brexit, said any hopes of a so-called “soft Brexit”, with the UK still tied to many of the bloc’s rules, were now “dead”.

Speaking in Brussels, the arch-Europhile said Theresa May “will win the day” with her vision of a UK free from the EU as well as slamming the EU elite’s “sneering disregard” for voters’ patriotism.

There has been a “terrible misreading of what actually makes people tick” on the anti-Brexit side, he said.

“This week is the week that the illusion of a so-called soft Brexit has died,” he continued according to The Sun.

“It was always a nonsense in my view, but there was a feeling that maybe Theresa May would pluck up courage that she’s never displayed hitherto to defy her right-wing.

“There was a slight sense that she was starting to realise the error of her preemptive declaration of red lines, [that this] was going to lead her to try and sue for peace on an emollient basis.

“I think it was always unlikely but it’s now gone. I think it is more likely than not that the Government will win the day.”

Sir. Nick also attacked pro-Brexit ministers, accusing them of “industrial scale incompetence” over Brexit and allegedly bringing “international embarrassment” on the UK.

He added: “I think there’s a chance a majority of MPs may turn around to the Government and say, ‘Sorry we’re not going to give our consent to this’.

“It’s not a democratic choice, you have a democratic duty to say, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ There’s no escape to this Brexit cul-de-sac that doesn’t start with MPs taking that courageous decision this autumn.”

Mr. Clegg is currently in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament is sitting, and is scheduled to meet with Guy Verhoftstadt, the parliament’s Brexit coordinator and a fellow opponent of Brexit.

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