Top Eurocrats Round on PM May To Reject Any Hope of Renegotiation, Pushing Britain Towards ‘No Deal’

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OLIVER JJ LANE

Several senior European politicians and bureaucrats spoke out Monday to pour cold water on British hopes of achieving even modest changes in the Brexit ‘deal’ arranged by Prime Minister Theresa May, as the nation closes in on the March 29th departure date.

The UK Parliament voted for the Prime Minister to go back to Brussels last week to get a new agreement on the controversial Irish border backstop — a mechanism which in its present form would keep the United Kingdom locked into the customs union with no option to leave without Brussels’ permission. But top EU bureaucrats, negotiators, and political leaders insist there can be no Brexit ‘deal’ without it, pushing the UK closer to a full, no agreement withdrawal — either inadvertently or by design.

One senior EU figure to speak out was power behind the throne Martin Selmayr, a lesser known figure who as the recently appointed Secretary-General of the European Commission is one of the most powerful men in Europe [pictured above, right].

Making clear the European Union had no intention of accommodating the United Kingdom at all, Selmayr said in comments reported by the Daily Telegraph: “On the EU side, nobody is considering this. Asked whether any assurance would help to get the Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons, the answers of MPs were … inconclusive… The meeting confirmed that the EU did well to start its no deal preparations in December 2017.”

Using even more frank language, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney — who has become a familiar anti-Brexit voice in Europe — said Theresa May’s hope to negotiate a better deal was “wishful thinking”.

Also joining the chorus of EU leaders who have moved to reject the prospect of cooperating with the United Kingdom on Monday was Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier who repeated the well-rehearsed talking point that the deal on the table is the “only operational solution available”. The Associated Press reported him as saying: “We need this backstop because it is the only insurance to avoid a hard border at the moment. But we are ready, during the transition, if we have a transition, to work on the alternative arrangements.”

Barnier’s comments followed others he made last week when he said: “The EU institutions remain united, and we stand by the agreement that we have negotiated with the U.K.”

The refusals to give the United Kingdom an inch to help secure an outcome that would be in their own best interests follows a pattern of years which has seen every request by serving British Prime Ministers to make EU membership more palatable to the British people rejected with contempt and push the United Kingdom ever-closer to a position where it is forced to leave the European Union without a deal. While this is a situation that many senior Brexiteers relish, it is one that European leaders themselves have said must be avoided.

Nigel Farage observed last week in a now-viral European Parliament speech that it is “fanatics who are not prepared to be reasonable or many any sense of compromise” in the European Union causing this rift, and that when European leaders complain of the possibility of such an exit it is the same people “talking down to, and humiliating the Prime Minister of our nation” causing it.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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