Message to Liz Truss : Be prepared to be lied to, bullied, and deceived by the EU
EU Vice-President Šefčovič rebuked for still behaving like a communist – by leading Swiss judge
Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022
The Soviet past of Šefčovič is not forgotten and his behaviour points to him being a bully relying on deceit and propaganda
Does the leadership of the EU and its satellite states think we are so ill-educated as not to read their own-language media? Do they think we only ever rely on what the BBC, Guardian and Mirror filters and spoon-feeds us?
You might be forgiven for thinking so after an interview with EU Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič, conducted in Brussels by Markus Becker of German journal Der Spiegel. (English version now available here.) Yet again he revealed his true dismissive, arrogant and deceitful approach to negotiating – not just with the UK, but towards the independently-minded Swiss too.
This week one of the leading members of the Swiss legal profession called out Šefčovič in an extraordinary way, saying: "This is no longer the CSSR of 1988."
Facts4EU has pointed out the communist background of Maros Šefčovič before and it is highly recommended reading – we urge you to revisit this report. Clearly he learned the techniques of bullying and propaganda at that time, for he is using them again through the channels of speeches and interviews like that in Der Spiegel.
Below are some examples.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
Misrepresentations by Šefčovič
On breaking international law: The UK “even broke international law to get around the protocol”.
Actually, it didn’t. During the 2019 negotiations the UK Government announced it would be prepared to break the law if it required to but it drew back from this. In fact it is the Protocol that is itself a breach of international law – conflicting, as it does, with the internationally recognised treaty known as the Belfast Agreement (GFA) that requires consent for changes to the constitutional arrangements of Northern Ireland.
By the EU and UK agreeing to the Protocol the UK Government implicitly repealed the Act of Union 1800 (its argument not ours) – but without consent being sought and obtained. The EU was party to this damage that the UK Government is now trying to amend, and Šefčovič is resisting.
On the Protocol’s impact on Northern Ireland: “Northern Ireland hasn’t experienced any supply shortages at supermarkets or gas stations”.
When it comes to shortages there are now many lines once supplied by supermarkets that are no longer sold. Courier companies will not deliver certain goods, and lorries that have come over the ‘sea border’ by ferry from Great Britain have been turned back after arrival for using the wrong colour of ink on forms.
Petrol forecourt queues in the UK were caused by a media scare when there were more than adequate supplies to meet demand – nothing to do with Brexit. Šefčovič knows all this of course, but he is pitching to the ‘home audience’ that without the EU life would be unbearable.
DUP MP and spokesman Sammy Wilson was unequivocal last year
In an interview with TalkRadio last year about Šefčovič’s tactics, Sammy Wilson MP said:-
"This is not about the need to protect the EU single market, this is all about the EU finding ways to putting pressure on the UK to comply with EU rules. Every interview I have done with EU spokespeople and Irish Ministers, the answer always is: 'If the UK would align fully with EU checks then all of this would disappear'… 20 percent of all the checks of food imports coming into the EU are conducted between GB and Northern Ireland. This is even though we are only 0.4 percent of EU trade.”
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
Misrepresentations by Šefčovič (continued)
On the UK Government being uncooperative: “We need a British government that is prepared to cooperate.”
Actually, it is the British Government that has stated that the grounds that would allow it to invoke Article 16 of the Protocol already exist, but has held back so as to facilitate negotiations. That looks like going the extra mile for cooperation.
And it was Šefčovič himself who said there would be “no renegotiation” but had to climb down and finally start being cooperative.
And it was Lord Frost on behalf of the UK Government who published a detailed Command Paper that explained what needed to be done to remove the problems of the Protocol.
Šefčovič studiously avoids mentioning this in his interview or providing a comprehensive response.
On Switzerland not paying monies to the EU: “The last payment from Bern was in 2012.”
Actually, Switzerland confirmed a payment to the EU of 1.2bn Euros as recently as September last year and Šefčovič knows this because he actually welcomed the payment at the time. The money was a contribution to the EU's 'Cohesion Fund', from which Switzerland receives nothing in return.
Examples of bullying by Šefčovič
“London has breached a great deal of trust, which we must first rebuild”
Actually, it was the EU that decided unilaterally and without warning that it would invoke Article 16 last year in an attempt to prevent vaccine supplies reaching the UK via Ireland. If there is trust to be built it is on the part of the EU to do so.
“I don’t even want to imagine the consequences for the fragile peace on the Irish isle. All this would have serious consequences for relations between the EU and London.”
The UK is NOT proposing a physical border on the Island of Ireland. It already handles the differences in currency, taxes, alcohol and tobacco duties without one. It is the EU that insists on a border – and it is the EU that threatens the precious peace by stoking that argument and riding roughshod over the concerns of the Unionist community.
Anti-Swiss arguments full of holes
Switzerland is literally at the heart of Europe, yet Šefčovič presents the Swiss as essentially un-European for not conceding to the EU’s unreasonable demands of “dynamic alignment” - laws without any say - and for not paying their way.
This caused one of Switzerland’s most eminent jurists, Carl Baudenbacher, to remind Šefčovič he is no longer in the CSSR – a quite remarkable and outspoken comment for a judge.
Image right: Tweet by Swiss judge, click to enlarge
Carl Baudenbacher is a serious man whom many in power will listen to. In 1995 he was appointed judge of the EFTA Court, which hears cases originating from the EFTA States which are Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement. From 2003 to 2017 he served as President of the Court.
It is a pity we do not have more of our own jurists and politicians doing the same. Barnier, with a far classier pedigree, was challenged regularly. Why not Šefčovič, the pack hound looking for a brawl?
It is the nature of international politics and diplomacy for outrageous assertions and hyperbolic claims to be made in an effort to gain bargaining leverage. When in public, skilful negotiators make their case by a clever use of argument laced with genuine facts. Poor negotiators, often politicians, are attracted to proffering lies or deceit and behaving like bullies by threatening their opponents. Blowhards such as this need to be exposed and the best means is to use the antiseptic of truth.
Sadly our British negotiators, for generations now, come from a school that has relied upon turning the other cheek so it can be slapped again in the hope that this compliance will elicit concessions through guilt. It has been the curse of British foreign policy for decades. If we believe in freedom of speech, and we do, then we should believe in telling the parties to negotiations when they are being outrageous, deceitful and aggressive.
In short we should call them out.
Facts4EU has no sentiment in these matters; Maros Šefčovič has form, bad form, and he should be reminded of it regularly. Every exaggeration, no matter how slight, every half-truth, every lie should be exposed and corrected.
Every threat should be repudiated as unreasonable and without cause. There are polite ways to do this so there is no reason to not do it. Lord Frost showed that the only way to deal with Šefčovič was to be firm. We expect much from Liz Truss, and we hope she is canny and has the guile not to let him bully her into submission.
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[ Sources: Der Spiegel ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 08 Jan 2022
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