Czech Prez: Brexit EU’s Fault, No Second Ref for 10 Years, May ‘Ridiculous’


The President of the Czech Republic has suggested that Brexit is the fault of the European Union, that Britain’s referendum on leaving the bloc should not be re-run for a decade, and that the British government under Theresa May is making itself increasingly ridiculous.

The elder statesman, 74, described the Brexit situation as “organised chaos” since the British prime minister broke her promise — repeated 108 times from the House of Commons despatch box — to deliver Brexit on March 29th, instead agreeing a delay with the European Council.

“No-one knows what to do, and so pretends to be active,” he stated matter of factly, revealing that the “the British are totally, but totally, ridiculed” thanks to their formerly Remain-supporting leader.

“Prime Minister May was unable to answer a single question at the last European Council. So let it end,” he said, expressing his hope that her now thrice-rejected Withdrawal Agreement with the EU might eventually pass.

“Let us approve [the deal], if there are any problems, such as the Irish [backstop], they can certainly be repaired over the years,” he suggested.

The Czech leader did appear to believe the ultimate blame for Brexit lay with the British government, however, and suggested it would be wrong to make the British vote again, as many British Remainers and some EU leaders have been demanding.

“I consider Brexit a disaster for both sides… but on the other hand, I am a supporter of the referendum and here I cannot say: When one referendum failed, let’s go to the other,” President Zeman explained, perhaps recalling his participation in Czechia’s own struggle for democratic self-rule while it was under the Soviet Communist yoke in the previous century.

He attributed Brexit to the fact that “we were not sufficiently critical of the EU,” adding that it needed to be “smaller and more effective”.

“Andrei Kiska once said the European Union was a great project, I always told him that he had bad designers,” he remarked ruefully.

He was also not shy about criticising the European Commission, suggesting the unelected body should be restructured to serve a more administrative role, while currently it serves as both the sole initiator of EU-level legislation and bloc executive.

“The European Commission has been promising the fight against tax havens for years and has unfortunately failed to do anything,” he said by way of example, in reference to the way the bloc’s capital regime is exploited by multinational corporations — many of which backed and even funded the British campaign to Remain in the European Union — to move their liabilities to tax havens like Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s native Luxembourg.

In some respects, however, he seemed to support an increased role for the European Union, suggesting a bloc finance minister to tackle issues like tax evasion, and a defence minister to co-ordinate the fight against “the danger of Islamic terrorism” — a threat he has repeatedly warned against, pushing for citizens’ gun rights to be strengthened so they can better protect themselves from it.

On the other hand, he said he would react with “horror” if the calls of some euro-integrationists for an EU culture minister were realised, observing: “Culture is an independent phenomenon that is embedded in national cultures. Let these cultures enrich each other, but have no minister over them.”

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