Sputnik: Do you think that the UK government will allow the EU courts to have any exclusive jurisdiction over the UK?
Alan Sked: Well, I would like to think that they wouldn't but I don't trust the prime minister to be robust on this. I think she'll probably concede.
Sputnik: Does Mr. Davis’s absence suggest that the EU is shunning the UK in negotiations?
Alan Sked: It may be that he thinks they're being so obtuse in Brussels that there is no need for him to go, and they wouldn't accomplish anything. He does have civil servants, and he does have people under him, I mean, he's got a whole department. So why does he have to go out there himself? It is difficult to know what's going on from the outside but I would have thought that unless there was some breakthrough then there wouldn't be any particular need for him to go to Brussels. In an age of internet and telephones and everything else, then I really don't see the need.
Sputnik: How much does the Brexit divorce reflect the complexities of a divorce of marriage partnership?
Alan Sked: They used to say always that being a member of the EU is like being a member of a club. We're leaving a club. The metaphor matters because in a divorce there are all sorts of disputes that carry on forever.
Once you leave a club, then you've left, and you don't usually have to pay any extra membership charges or be responsible for what happens after you've left. So I'd rather look at it as leaving a club, and once we leave we shouldn't be responsible for the costs of the club afterwards, or the pensions and upkeep of the staff afterwards. Once we have left, that's it!
Sputnik: What do you say to the people who voted to leave and now just want to get out?
Alan Sked: I think there is a lot of frustration. Certainly I have a lot of frustration on negotiations dragging on. The real frustration is that the government doesn't seem to have sufficient backbone. It's not willing to walk away, and say enough is enough, these demands are intolerable and we are not going to listen to them any longer.
I think there are a lot of people who say 'why put up with all this nonsense and this deliberate refusal on the part of Brussels to meet us half way, especially over the current Ireland matters’. If they keep saying that whatever solution we propose on Ireland is not good enough and that we have to remain in a customs union, we should just say no, we can't. And if they don't accept then what is seen by most as perfectly good solutions to the Irish border then I'm sorry, negotiations will have to stop.
I would be quite happy for us to walk away and say 'Look, come back and talk to us when you're ready to be reasonable'. Otherwise, no deal — and I would be quite happy with a no deal.
The views and opinions expressed by Alan Sked are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.