Ed Rennie, Labour Leave
Believe it or not there are some on the continent who would like an orderly, constructive and fairly negotiated exit deal between the UK and the EU. But Jean-Claude Juncker former Luxembourg Prime Minister and President of the EU Commission isn’t one of them. He hasn’t even denied authorising this month’s deceitful anti-British briefings, his ongoing delusions, not to mention his self delusion, beggar belief.
Here are just a few of his horrendous sayings.
Regarding the Lisbon Treaty: ‘Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?’
On the 2005 French EU referendum: ‘If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘on we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘we continue’.
Relating to the Euro: ‘We decide on something, leave it lying around, and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.’
Clearly this is not a man that can be trusted to have any modicum of desire for a sensible negotiated agreement that doesn’t seek to deliberately damage the UK in a wilfully pursued ‘bad deal’.
Out of the top four Eurocrats he is the third most influential and the least helpful.
Labour Leave will certainly keep a close eye on the other three.
Guy Verhofstdadt: former Belgian Prime Minister and lead negotiator of the EU Parliament (which will have to agree any deal). The least powerful of the top four, he is completely oblivious to how despised the EU and especially the Euro is across the member states of the EU, nevertheless he has recently been making constructive noises.
Michel Barnier: former French foreign minister and lead negotiator on behalf of the EU Commission. The second most influential negotiator, the bad news is he doesn’t think the negotiations can be concluded quickly, which of course becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if you’re determined to believe that! The better news is that he is very practical and pragmatic so can be engaged and reasoned with.
Donald Tusk: former Prime Minster of Poland and President of the European Council. The chap who was handed our Article 50 letter and as a Polish Anglophile is genuinely saddened that we are leaving. He completely disapproved of Juncker’s horrendous briefings against the British. He will want a mutually beneficial deal. It is fortunate then that he is both the most constructive and most influential of the four. This is a cause of gentle optimism, if not complacency!
At Labour Leave we will do all we can to ensure that the Labour Party does not fall into the trap of thinking that we are supplicants to EU authoritarianism in the negotiations ahead. We are a proud nation that will stand up to any nonsense from the likes of Juncker and his anti-British allies.