After a weekend dominated by coverage of Boris Johnson’s views on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and his tangled personal life, the former junior Brexit minister Steve Baker used an interview to mark 200 days before departure to argue May must take a different approach. Sputnik spoke to Graham Eardley, Chairman of UKIP Walsall and Member of the Bruges Group, about this story.
Sputnik: Boris Johnson has attacked Theresa's May's Brexit plan, saying she had "wrapped a suicide vest" around the British constitution and "handed the detonator" to Brussels. Is there some truth in the former foreign secretary's words?
I would say that the Brexit plan that does confine British industry into the free trade deals, that it was expected to do following the Brexit vote. We were all expecting to be able to arrange free trade deals on goods as well as services across the world as well as the EU.
Sputnik: The UK is leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, and the government's plan — agreed at Chequers in July. Is this the end of the PM Chequers plan?
Graham Eardley: Hopefully it means the end of the Chequers proposals and that Chequers can be chucked as the campaign says. I think its dead in the water and it was dead in the water following the vote in the House of Commons following issues like Northern Ireland.
Sputnik: Mr Johnson's second attack on the prime minister's Brexit strategy inside a week, as last Monday he said the Chequers deal "means disaster" for Britain . Is the end neigh for Theresa May?
Graham Eardley: I would hope so and I am pleased that Boris Johnson has come along to the party at last. UKIP has been saying it for years that we should leave the EU and we should be out now.
To my mind, stopping the 1972 European Communities act would have been the way forward, and repealing that so we could be out straight away. Obviously going through article is a long and windy route, but any route to get out is most welcomed.
Graham Eardley: That depends a lot on the EU and exactly what Boris Johnson would bring to the table. He would bring a more Eurosceptic approach but that would depend on how Barnier would respond to his negotiation stance. I believe he would be after a Canada++ deal — as its being called by David Davis.
We are at the moment waiting for the European response fully to the Chequers proposals, we would have to apologize and withdraw the Chequers proposals and go forwards with our own deal, but how the European Union would respond which I think would be quite negatively, we would be facing what would be called a no deal or a WTO deal.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Graham Eardley and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.