When a deal is struck, it should be put to a second referendumby Tim Farron / May 5, 2017 / Leave a comment
Theresa May seems to have got negotiation backwards. Usually, the idea is to bring the other side closer to your position. Instead, the prime minister and her Brexit ministers are pushing our European partners away.
When Jean-Claude Juncker entered Number 10 for dinner last week, Brussels was asking Britain to pay a €60bn “divorce bill” when we leave the European Union. You’d think the PM and her chief negotiator, David Davis, might have used the opportunity to bring that bill down. Instead, since Juncker left Downing Street “ten times more sceptical” than he was before, that bill has shot up to €100bn.
May herself admitted that Britain’s economic prosperity relies on getting these negotiations right. And yet, when she meets with EU officials, their position hardens and the terms of Brexit seem to get worse. Then she makes paranoid accusations about them trying to sabotage both the negotiations and the general election, knowing that her words will only ramp tensions up further and make a deal more difficult.
With a disastrous dinner followed by an angry, blustering speech outside No 10, May is showing that she understands the “art of the deal” about as well as Donald Trump does.
And that’s particularly scary, given that she has threatened to pull Britain out of the EU with no trade deal at all if an agreement isn’t reached, inflicting the hardest of hard Brexits on the country. That’s something she admits would jeopardise both our economic security and the futures of our children, and yet it’s something her own actions are making increasingly likely.