© REUTERS / Toby Melville
Columnists Janice Atkinson
I`ve been in Strasbourg this week and the good news for Brexiteers and Mrs May is that the atmosphere was redolent with fear. Fear of a no deal.
Debating the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement on Tuesday after Mondayâ€™s defeat in the Commons for the Brexit deal that favoured the EU to Britain`s detriment, Commissioner Timmermans was unusually quiet and conciliatory in his tone; Mr Barnier, always a gentleman, was quietly accepting that we didn`t want his negotiated deal and quelle horreur, I agreed with almost everything that the EU fanatic, Guy Verhofstadt said.
Verhofstadt quite rightly said that the MPs in Westminster are working against the people forÂ their own selfish interests and it was time that they stopped playing politics and work together for the benefit of the people.
But there is always a sting in the tail, and I don`t think even Verhofstadt understood the meaning of his words. By opposition parties and this government working together we can expect a monumental stitch-up of a BRINO agreement against the 17.4m Brexiteers. So even Verhofstadt who thought he was being a statesman and democrat, underestimated Mrs May, because she`s delivering exactly what he wants. She`s doing just as he asks this morning
The EU`s letter sent to Mrs May on Monday from Messrs Tusk and Juncker on Monday, tried to help her for the vote. What we deduced from that letter is that they were prepared to extend Article 50.
Mrs Merkel who had quite recently stated that there was no more room for negotiation climbed downÂ and said there is still time to negotiate. Bet your bottom dollar there is, German white goods and cars will be gathering dust inÂ warehouses.
President Jupiter, France`s most unpopular head of state (apart from Marie Antoinette`s reign), consumed by his unofficial opposition, the Gilet Jaunes, stamped his foot and said, Good luck¦ go figure it out for yourselves. Were we ever expecting support from him, the man that wants to take Merkel`s crown when she steps down? He`s got enough problems with his own Deplorables.
What I fear will happen” and this is agreed across the political divide ” is that Mrs May, with the EU`s gratitude, will extend Article 50, keep UK MEPs in place and pretend to leave in July. At which time the MEPs will be gone, the EU will have had its election and consumed with forming new political groupings ahead of the start of their term in September. In that time, Mrs May will seek to suspend Article 50, install UK government representatives and negotiate to keep us in the EU.
© REUTERS / Toby Melville
Although I believe I am right on this, the optimist in me still hopes that Mrs May can see her advantage. If she listened to her Brexit cabinet and backbenchers she will see that my analysis of the EU`s fear is right and that they`re ready for a deal. A year ago, Tusk had offered a Free Trade Deal, this government ignored that because they are Remainers.re ready forÂ a deal. A year ago, Tusk had offered a Free Trade Deal, this government ignored that because they are Remainers.
Today, chancellor, Philip Hammond, a Remainer, said that he assured business that he would not allow a no deal Brexit.
Perhaps Mr Hammond should be made aware of today`s damning ComRes poll on our fragile democracy? The voters do not trust the political class. Or perhaps the Tory party chairman and the membership could flex their muscles and make it clear that their wipe-out at the hands of arch EU federalist John Major in 1997 will not happen again.
75% say current generation of politicians not up to it
74% say politicians not in touch with mood of country
72% say #Brexit shows politics needs a complete overhaul
67% say their voice is not heard in politics today
And we can`t be any clearer than:
Q “The result of 2016 referendum should be respected and there should be no second EU Referendum”
Con voters 80% “agree”, Lab voters split 41-39 for “disagree”
Back to Mrs May. Rightly, everyone say the clock is ticking. I don`t worry about the clock, mine is set for 11pm, on 29th March 2019 GMT. Our Freedom Day. A No Deal is what the EU fears most.
© AP Photo / Frank Augstein
As one of her opposition, I wasn`t invited to have talks with Mrs May in Downing Street this morning, but I would have said to her, given what I saw in Strasbourg this week, the EU`s desperate for a deal. I would have reminded her of the ComRes poll above, pointed out the demonstrations outside Parliament, the army of social media soldiers who are very angry “ these are voters and shouldn`t be ignored “ many of whom are willing to don Yellow Vests if she reneges on our vote and try to persuade her to head off the most monumental backlash of the people the UK has ever seen.
And I would have said get on that train to Brussels, Mrs May, and tell them what WE want and carpe diem.
The views and opinions expressed inÂ this article are solely those ofÂ the contributor and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik’s position.