Britain threatens EU with a ''nasty'' exit
09 October 2019
Britain has threatened to withhold security cooperation with the European Union if the bloc failed to make changes in the earlier Brexit deal and if Brexit talks break down. Britain also made it clear that it would not allow any further delay in reaching an agreement, reports citing British sources said on Tuesday.
The British threat comes after EU leaders said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fresh proposals to bridge the impasse, amidst ongoing negotiations, only raises the chance of talks extending beyond the 31 October deadline.
And, with just 23 days to go before Britain is due to leave the EU, both London and Brussels are still positioning themselves to avoid blame for a delay or a disorderly Brexit.
“The negotiations will probably end this week,” the Spectator magazine quoted an unidentified source in Downing Street as saying. The source added that those who hoped that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would help London were “deluded”.
“This government will not negotiate further so any delay would be totally pointless,” the source was quoted as saying. “We’ll either leave with no deal on 31 October or there will be an election and then we will leave with no deal.”
Amber Rudd, the former pensions secretary who quit her job and the Conservative party last month over Johnson’s Brexit strategy told BBC radio the source appeared to be his senior adviser, Dominic Cummings.
“It sounds angry and desperate,” she said. “Since it hasn’t been denied by Number 10 ... one can only assume it’s come from the centre, from the prime minister’s adviser. It reveals that there doesn’t appear an actual plan at all.”
Source also made it clear that any delay in Brexit would hurt Britain’s defence and security cooperation with the EU a casualty and that Britain would grant cooperation only to those states that help smoothen the divorce.
Britain also on Tuesday revised the tariff regime that would come into force if it leaves the European Union without a deal, making 88 per cent of total imports by value eligible for levy free access.
Seeking to balance the need to keep consumer prices down without destroying domestic producers, Britain also said under a new “exceptional review process” it could make changes to the regime from day one if needed.
“The UK is a free trading nation and British business is in a strong position to compete in an open, free-trading environment,” trade policy minister Conor Burns said.
PM Johnson has been insisting on the 31 October deadline to exit the bloc, with or without a deal, though a law passed by his opponents demands he write a letter to the EU asking for a delay if he cannot strike an exit deal by 19 October.
He said he would abide by the law but Britain would leave the EU by the end of the month without explaining that contradictions. He has also repeatedly demanded an election but parliament has refused to grant one.
The source quoted by the Spectator appeared to have two views about a delay: that the government could frustrate a delay but that if it was forced to extend Brexit then it would fight an election calling for an immediate no-deal exit.
“Our legal advice is clear that we can do all sorts of things to scupper delay which for obvious reasons we aren’t going into details about,” the Spectator’s source said.
“We will focus on winning the election on a manifesto of immediately revoking the entire EU legal order without further talks, and then we will leave,” the source was quoted as saying.
The source said that EU support for a delay would be seen by the British government as hostile interference in domestic politics “and over half of the public will agree with us.”
Unless the European Union compromises and does a Brexit deal shortly, then the United Kingdom will leave without a deal, a senior Downing Street source told Reuters on Tuesday.
“If the EU doesn’t do a deal shortly, then we leave without a deal,” the source said. “We are leaving the European Union.”