Donald Tusk by Platforma Obywatelska RP from Polska (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

By Platforma Obywatelska RP from Polska (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

I've often asked Remainers, that if leaving with no deal on WTO terms is so damaging for the UK, why doesn't the EU keep threatening us with it to get everything they want? I think we're now getting the answer, don't you?


Today, standing on a platform with the Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, the EU Council president, Donald Tusk, asked in what some are seeing as a staged flash of anger:

"I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely."

To which the BBC political editor, Laura Kuennsberg was forced to respond with "Blimey!"

And Tusk later Tweeted out his comment for good measure.

But, he followed that up an hour later with another Tweeted extract of his speech that said:

"Today our most important task is to prevent a no deal #Brexit. I hope that tomorrow we will hear from PM @theresa_may a realistic suggestion on how to end the impasse."

Now be in no doubt that Tusk only views things from an EU angle, not with any regard for the UK – or any other single nation state for that matter. He sounds worried to me.

But he also took a swipe at the UK Remainers saying:

"Today, there is no political force and no effective leadership for remain. I say this without satisfaction, but you can't argue with the facts."

Now, the reason there's no political force and no effective leadership for Remain, is because there is no longer any significant public appetite for it and that is what is required to drive a Remain political force.

So, Tusk is now going to have to explain to the EU27 ministers that, far from the EU having full control over the UK for the foreseeable future, there is now a real danger that the whole EU will suffer when the UK leaves on WTO terms and starts to forge its own future.

And they shouldn't expect get their £39 billion sweetener either.

And to those who claim there will be little Brexit impact on the EU, I ask – why the Tusk outburst then? Why the growing concern amongst Eurocrats.

When the UK leaves there will be a massive funding hole in the EU, which can only be made up by net contributing countries, which now also includes the Republic or Ireland by the way, paying more into the pot and net receiving countries taking less out with every one of them claiming that they are that special exemption case.

The EU desperately needs that £39 billion to tide it over for a couple of years into the next budget cycle and that's just for starters. Because the EU Commission has not altered its spending plans, if anything they've increased them.

But Italy, one of the EU's big players, is now in recession and you really have to wonder what detrimental impact the Yellow Vests are having on the French economy. That coupled with Germany slashing its future growth prospects and you have to wonder if the added effect of Brexit, especially a no deal Brexit, on the EU has not been significantly understated.

Responding to Tusk, the UKIP Leader Gerard Batten said:

"Mr Tusk is getting overwrought. In his despair at Britain leaving the EU, he seems to have invented an eleventh commandment – 'thou shalt not leave the EU'.

"Mr Tusk has forgotten that in Dante’s Inferno the lowest level in Hell is reserved for traitors. I would remind him that those who want their country governed by a foreign power are traitors."

And the DUP MP Sammy Wilson said:

Donald Tusk once again shows his contempt for the 17.4 million people who voted to escape the corruption of the EU and seek the paradise of a free and prosperous Kingdom.

“This devilish euro maniac is doing his best to keep the United Kingdom bound by the chains of EU bureaucracy and control.

But Tusk is not the only one trying to keep us in is he?

The BBC is now pulling on the heart strings by claiming that UK aid agencies could have their money supply cut off when we leave the EU.

And it points to Swiss aid agencies that have recently had their EU funding withdrawn with just ten days notice because the EU says there is no longer a 'suitable legal basis' to give them money.

Now, what the BBC report fails to point out is that Switzerland is under intense pressure to drop its vast patchwork of little separate agreements with the EU, in favour of signing up to a new framework deal that would ensure the Swiss could not undercut EU competitors and that Switzerland follows EU state aid rules etc.

This is the application of the EU one-way ratchet against Switzerland and this very short notice change in aid organisation funding should be viewed with that in mind. Not nice is it?

As to UK aid agencies, the Department for International Development has said it will fund existing projects, which sounds a sensible thing to do until after we've left. And then we can, as an independent nation, decide how we move forward with it.

And finally, in a superb example of the planning we have come to expect from our esteemed establishment, the UK government spent £45,000 on printing 1,300 copies of Theresa May's Brussels authored 599 page Withdrawal Agreement – just before it got trashed in the Commons and she was ordered to scurry away and beg Brussels to change it.

That's £34.62p per copy.

It wasn't worth the paper it was printed on to start with, but at least it'll end up being worth a few pence to a paper recycling company. At that price, one assumes that the paper is probably too stiff and too shiny for that other, rather obvious, use.

But not before the PM's spent the next few weeks trying to recycle it politically in Westminster, after she comes back from Brussels with no change.


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