We spoke with former Mayor of Crewe Brian Silvester to find out who will blink first as these two gunslingers continue to stand off against each other and whether the British public has been forgotten amid the war of words between Brussels and Britain.
Sputnik: Boris Johnson has warned that it's far from certain that Britain will manage to get a post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels in time for the end of the year. So is this the clearest indicator that a post-Brexit trade deal will not happen by 31 December?
Brian Silvester: I'm very concerned about what's happening now. One thing that has happened is that Dominic Cummings, who was the chief adviser to Boris, has been forced to resign. Now Cummings was the architect of the Brexit vote in 2016 and is a very positive Brexiteer. And he's been put out, so that raises the alarm bells with me. And I feel that unless Boris takes drastic action in the opposite direction to which he’s headed, we are going to end up with a Brexit in name only.
Sputnik: The prime minister also said he was "incredibly confident that the UK will thrive with or without a free trade agreement with the EU". What are your thoughts on this?
Brian Silvester: Well, as always, Boris doesn't tell the truth. He signed up and he agreed to a withdrawal treaty. And that is now an international treaty, which he signed in January this year. Now, he is trying to change a small element of that in regard to Northern Ireland. But in my view, the entire withdrawal treaty needs to be put in the bin.
We need to say to the EU, "we are going to go for a no-deal, and we're going to leave". I'm very sure that if we did that the EU would soon come running to us to negotiate a deal. Because we buy from them far, far more than what we sell to them and they would be far worse off with no deal. But that's what we need to do. And if we are going to keep the commitment of the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit, the only way forward now is for Boris to bin the withdrawal treaty.
Sputnik: How damaging would it be for Britain to compromise on a deal at the cost of core principles such as sovereignty, control over laws, borders, money, and fishing?
Brian Silvester: What Boris has already done is compromise us on all those headings already. And this is what most people don't understand, with the withdrawal treaty, which he agreed last October in 2019 - with that withdrawal treaty, he has compromise us on all those headings. And unless we actually drop that withdrawal treaty, then we are committed to it.
And if there's any dispute, would you believe that dispute would be decided by the European Court of Justice. And I don't need to tell you which way they would make their judgement. If we don't do something drastic, like getting rid of the withdrawal treaty and going for no deal, we're going to end up, sadly in my view, as a colony of the EU forevermore.
Sputnik: You mentioned earlier the 17.4 million Brits who voted for Brexit. Have they been forgotten amongst all of this? Has there been enough transparency from the UK government throughout these negotiations?
Brian Silvester: The 17.4 million have been totally betrayed. It is treachery what Boris has done. He went into the election in December last year saying, "vote for me and I'll get Brexit done". That's the reason he got his 80 majority. He did that; he got his majority. And one of the first things he did after getting his majority was to sign a treaty which signed away the Brexit deal. He signed up to the withdrawal treaty that maintained the EU in control of the UK. Now that is outrageous. But still, most of the 17.4 million are blissfully unaware of what really happened, because the mainstream media have not actually covered it. They're in cahoots with Boris and even the opposition have not exposed it. It's only people like myself and channels like yourself that have actually exposed what is really going on. And when the 17.4 million realise what has happened, they will be mightily angry and seething with anger.
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