EU paves the way for another Brexit delay, despite Boris’s promises

“I am very worried about the little time we have,” says EU Commission President

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

Von der Leyen doubles down on Brexit extension, with two interviews for French & German media

The new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave two media interviews published yesterday in which she made it clear that the EU wants to delay the UK’s departure from the bloc at the end of next year.

Speaking yesterday to French newspaper Les Echos, Mrs von der Leyen said:

“I am very worried about the little time we have. It is not just about negotiating a free trade agreement, but many other issues.

“It seems to me that on both sides we should seriously ask ourselves if all these negotiations are possible in such a short time. I think it would be reasonable to take stock mid-year and, if necessary, to agree on an extension of the transition period.

The EU plans to erect barriers for UK business

Asked by the French journalist if it should be made difficult for the UK to access the Single Market after 2020, Frau von der Leyen stated:

“If we want to benefit from the prosperity of the Single Market, to access it without barriers or customs duties, we must all accept its common principles and values. Otherwise, the two parties must agree on the barriers to be put in place.

The EU Commission President also gave an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel which was published yesterday, and which carries the following headline :-

“The Brexit drama is a bitter lesson for the populists”

“After all, it is not only trade policy that is at stake but also security issues or fishing rights, to name just a few examples,” said Frau von der Leyen.

“That is why we want to start by talking about those issues where, without an agreement, the greatest damage is likely to be done, because there are no international rules that would take effect in the event of a hard Brexit,” she continued.

The EU’s New Year message to Boris Johnson

By giving two interviews to major publications in France and Germany on the same day, the EU Commission President ensured that her message would be heard loud and clear in London.

Observations

Short of Frau von der Leyen popping over the Channel to give an interview to the europhile elements of the British media such as the Financial Times and the BBC, or perhaps posting a YouTube video of her yodelling “There on a hill stood a lonely goat-herd”, the Commission President could hardly have done more to trumpet the message from the EU.

Naturally this was one story about the EU which the BBC was delighted to report on the front page of its UK News website.

The EU is planning to delay Brexit – again

If the EU were serious about negotiating a trade deal with the UK, it would be ready to start talks on 01 February next year (2020) – the day after the UK exits the EU in name only. After all, if time really is short (and it is) then any organisation with benevolent intent would be fully prepared and raring to go.

The truth of course is that the EU should have already been negotiating trading arrangements with the UK for the last three-and-a-half-years, but that’s another story.

The current information coming out of Brussels suggests that the EU will not be able to start talks until March – just three months before the decision needs to be made on whether or not to extend the scheduled departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 31 December next year. This decision must be made by 30 June 2020, according to the Withdrawal Agreement which will be passed into law in the first days of the New Year.

Let’s start fighting back against the EU’s propaganda

It is our view that the Prime Minister should give an interview to major EU27 media organisations the moment he arrives back from his Caribbean holiday. In it he should make absolutely clear that there will be no extension.

This will be the legal position if the Withdrawal Agreement Bill passes as expected. However as we have constantly argued for almost four years, the Government must begin fighting back in the EU’s propaganda war.

As a starter, we suggest that the UK’s negotiating team should invite Michel Barnier to London for the start of talks on Saturday 01 February 2020. Photos of the UK team sitting on one side of the table should be made available to the world’s media, showing empty chairs for Monsieur Barnier and colleagues.

This fight is not yet over

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[ Sources: Les Echos | Der Spiegel ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 28 Dec 2019

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