Don’t try to push Britain around, warn leading Brexit campaigners
Brussels must agree to a “new deep and special partnership” or Britain will walk away without paying the large sums of money previously discussed, the leading Brexit campaign warns EU leaders just days before the next round of Brexit negotiations.
In a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council and Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s representative in Brexit negotiations, Leave Means Leave warns that “no amount of threats, scaremongering and bullying will make us change our mind” on the Brexit result.
The letter – which has also been sent to media in all EU member states – cautions the European Commission against continuing to “obstruct and prevaricate” negotiations as this position is at odds with the wishes of the EU27.
The letter says that Britain will not be forced into accepting a bad deal and that attempts to “punish” the UK will fail. It highlights a recent poll which found that two thirds of British people believe the EU is trying to “bully” Britain into submission and that even 49 per cent of Remain voters deplore the way the EU are behaving.
The letter signed by Leave Means Leave Board members which includes politicians and businessmen, including Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Rt Hon David Jones MP, John Longworth and Richard Tice puts pressure on the EU to change their approach, warning that Britain will revert to trading under WTO rules – an arrangement that is “acceptable for the UK but that would be bad for the rest of the bloc.”
WTO rules would be extremely damaging to the EU27, with the German automotive industry losing nearly €8 billion in annual revenues and 30,000 jobs, and Irish beef and dairy exports potentially declining by half.
The letter concludes by agreeing that “clock is ticking” – a favourite phrase of Michel Barnier – and says:
“We suggest the time has come for the Commission to put an end to cheap political posturing and to start safeguarding the interests of working people right across Europe by coming to “a new deep and special partnership” that our Prime Minister has proposed. The alternative is that we just leave, in which case the people of the UK will simply not tolerate paying to the EU the very large sums being talked about under the implementation period.”