Sputnik: The European Union’s 27 leaders are to ratchet up the pressure on Theresa May by giving her a strong warning about the growing risk of a no-deal Brexit. How significant is this?
Christopher May: It is significant and I think what’s significant about it is that it’s very clear that after some months or possibly even a year and a half, the EU 27 are just losing patience with the UK. The UK has not presented a plausible position — all its spent its time doing in the current government discussions with the cabinet and outside cabinets, is to argue amongst it selves about solutions to Brexit that are already known to be unacceptable to the European 27. The significance I think is that what we’re seeing is that up until now, the EU27 has been quite happy to allow the internal machinations of the Tory party to run, thinking that ‘well at least something will come out of this’, but now staring at a very short period before the formal departure date, they’re realizing that actually having a negotiated solution to Brexit is looking more and more unlikely.
Sputnik: Following on from some of the recent commons debates going on in Parliament, Michel Barnier, has stated that the UK can continue frictionless trade if Britain stays within the EEAIs this still likely outcome do you think?
Christopher May: I think the difficulty the UK has is that frequently Brexiteers specifically, but perhaps more widely politicians, don’t understand that people in Europe read the British papers. The British papers, the ‘what’s going on?’ and the very public debates about what’s happening with the negotiations, are very clear and transparent to our current partners and possible competitors in the future. Differently, our businesses and politicians are very less well versed in what’s going on, on the continent, because we do not often read languages on the European countries. What’s going on in Germany for example, we’re relatively unaware of because we do not tend to read German newspapers. What we’re seeing is I think in the UK is an increasing lack of patience within the business and working community more generally, for continual debate in the tory party about a situation where they think they have the strong hand in negotiations, where actually anybody living on the continent, based on the commentary that one would read, sees that we’re actually in the position of being a supplicant. We have already made our decision that we’re leaving, if we do leave with coming to some decision about the sort of bargain we might make, we will just leave. The European Union will just carry on, and the reason now that the EU is putting on the pressure is that they see their interest is keeping the EU salient and coherent and is much less concerned about what happens to the UK. We have made our bed and they are essentially saying we should sleep on it.
Sputnik: Neither of us has a crystal ball but what are you prediction for the future on upcoming Brexit negotiations?
Christopher May: I think Brexit will happen, I can’t see the people’s vote campaign, despite a number of people asking not just for a second referendum, but for a meaningful vote on the terms and conditions on the terms of Brexit; the country has seem to gotten itself into a situation where it seems very unlikely that we will be able to pull off us getting out of Brexit. It’s not impossible but I think it is very unlikely to pull off. My predictions for what will happen, well I can tell you that I normally go on holiday around that time of the year and I will not be going on holiday next at that time of the year, because I think in the transitional period of us leaving I think it will be chaos. As you rightly say, there has been very little infrastructure put in place, there are all sorts of European agreements that we will crash out of on the day of Brexit and it seems to me with the best will in the world, there may be a panic to organize all of that but it won’t happen immediately.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.