Sputnik: Today, The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has warned MPs that attempts to delay and cancel the UK's departure from the European Union will be worse for the country than a no deal. Is he right with this recent statement?
I think that Liam Fox is just highlighting that political temperature and the fact that if the House of Commons and what's going on inside the House of Commons continues then voters are really going to turn to other means to send their signal. You only have to look at the Twitter traffic, the Facebook traffic — this sort of thing but we have a serious problem right now of where the voters are and where the MPs are, and there is just a complete and utter disconnect.
Sputnik: Michel Barnier has stated that the EU will only extend article 50 if there is 'stable majority' in UK for Brexit outcome. Looking at these comments, does it look likely that the EU will extend article 50?
Diane James: They don't need to because it is all about the political gameplay that is going on. Barnier has held a very tough line since he was appointed and you have to bear in mind I think that his credibility is on the line here if he doesn't get the deal that he's put so much effort into, he is not going to lose faith and go back to EU member states to say ‘sorry guys, I got it wrong. The UK is actually in a stronger position… whatever'. Barnier is superlative politician, he's got Brexit where he wants it to be; he doesn't want Brexit to happen, he is actually courting and colluding with the remainers here in the UK, particularly the MPs who want the UK to remain and potentially have another referendum, and that's where he's coming from.
Sputnik: Ok and earlier this week Theresa May published her Brexit Plan B, outlining plans to plans to axe the Irish backstop from her Brexit deal with the EU. Is this the right direction the government should be taking on this issue?
Diane James: Theresa May has performed so many u-turns and given up on so many of her red lines but quite frankly her credibility in terms of the Brexit process is shredded. My views is that most people now listen to what she's saying and switch off after a very short period of time because they don't think she's got any credibility to what she says at all.
You have got to add to this that even if Theresa May says something and puts it out as strongly as she possibly can, what she has proved over and over again, her control over Tory party discipline is hopeless, it is shredded, it doesn't exist. It doesn't really matter what she says because she can't deliver it and it's as simple as that.
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