The EU Parliament negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt has warned that, unless the UK makes further concession, Brexit could be delayed for years.
Although he recognised that 80% of the deal had been done, Guy Verhofstadt criticised the UK's insistence on rejecting an ongoing customs union between the EU and UK and said that the UK should quickly sign up to an association agreement with the EU – an agreement that would tie the UK into being a rule taker without the ability to trade in its own right.
“The time for wishful thinking and kicking the can down the road is fast coming to an end.” Verhofstadt said.
“The UK Government has rejected the EU’s proposal for a ‘common regulatory area’, but it is yet to offer an alternative.
“A credible proposal is needed swiftly, so we can reach a deal before the June European Council.”
The EU does seem to be in a rush to chain the UK down doesn't it? That alone should be ringing alarms across Whitehall. The Eurocrats must be getting worried, which is actually a great opportunity for the UK to start wringing what we need out of the EU!
The problem though, is either we come to a deal by 11 pm on March the 29th 2019, or the UK leaves with no deal – that's how Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty works! If the EU wants to stretch negotiations out for a longer period, then UK negotiators must start making harsh demands of the EU!
And in a Brexit bombshell, the Brexit secretary, David Davis has threatened to resign if Theresa May keeps the UK in a customs partnership.
"David Davis is “on the brink of resigning” as Brexit Secretary because of frustration over the Prime Minister’s plans to strike a deal with the EU on a customs partnership." Reports the Express.
"Friends of the Brexit Secretary David Davis have told the Daily Express that he is “extremely frustrated” with the direction of Government policy and “feels he has been cut out of the decisions.”
It appears that his decision will depend of the outcome of a crunch meeting of the cabinet Brexit sub-committee is due to debate plans for a customs partnership, something that Brexiteers have already said is unacceptable.
And one of the main problems is that, according to reports, Mr Davis has been sidelined in favour of the No 10 Brexit negotiator, Ollie Robbins who is also an arch Remainer and who has pushed this whole customs partnership agenda.
According to one of Mr Davis's fellow MPs, the Brexit secretary thinks that if there is going to be a total fudge over Brexit, why should he take the blame?
And according to the Sun, Theresa May is clinging on to this customs partnership idea despite being told eight times to drop it and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg calling it a cretinous idea!
And the former New Zealand High Commissioner to the UK, Sir Lockwood Smith, said any such customs union would be awful for the UK as well as for the world.
"Leaving the customs union and the single market, he said, would potentially allow the UK to pursue world-leading reforms in the services and agricultural industries." Reports the Telegraph.
But, if David Davis goes, other Brexiteers may follow, which will be a monumental problem for the PM but be a massive boost for the EU and Remainers who are openly and actively working against the democratic wishes of the UK people as well as for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour who must now be thinking that their time in power is near.
Now to the EU. The EU Commission president, Jean Claude Juncker will be giving a speech next week at the unveiling of a statue of the Prussian philosopher Karl Marx at an event in Trier commemorating the 200th anniversary of his birthday.
Saying that the EU Commission president was well aware of the history and sensitivity around Karl Marx, Juncker's spokesperson Mina Andreeva said that not speaking about Marx would be close to denying history.
The UKIP deputy chairman, Margot Parker, called it an extraordinary decision saying:
"Yes he changed history, but many have and few have done so with such appalling results. This is a direct slap in the face of the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe, so much for common values.
"One has to wonder what other figures from history they would like to celebrate, in order to recognise that they changed history? Who knows someday in the future they might be building statues to Nigel Farage."