Do not flinch
IT is vital that the Tories reflect on their new unity and vow to maintain it. Because it could all be reversed in a fortnight — and the EU is counting on it.
That’s why, despite the world watching to see if it is capable of reasonable compromise, its eurocrats remained so pig-headedly defiant yesterday.
Their confected rage and ridiculous pretence at still being confused over what Britain wants are stalling tactics.
The hope being that in the new round of votes on February 14 Tory Remainers, some in Cabinet, blink first. That this time they back a motion preventing us leaving without a deal on March 29, setting up the potential reversal of Brexit.
They must not. The cost to the country and their party will be catastrophic.
The Sun does not want No Deal but the threat of it is our greatest leverage. We must not give it up.
It is equally dangerous if Brexiteers overplay their hand. They have pushed Theresa May in the right direction — but they must now be realistic. If the EU does finally offer some meaningful legal commitment on the backstop they must take it.
The PM’s deal will be softer than they want. But hold out for more and Brexit could be lost. A Remainer-stuffed Parliament may see to that, however bullish eurosceptic MPs are today.
Meanwhile, two things must happen: While No Deal is still possible we must turbo-charge our preparations for it.
And Brussels must be left in no doubt . . . not one penny of our exit bill will be paid if it happens.
IRELAND’S naive PM Leo Varadkar will deserve much of the blame for the misery and chaos No Deal would unleash on his people and across Europe.
“We could find ourselves in 10 or 12 weeks’ time needing to find a lot of money to save people’s jobs,” he admits.
It is time, then, for him to stop posing as a hardman and do the right thing.
It is absurd hyperbole to claim Ireland would be betrayed by giving us a legally binding escape option from the backstop at some hypothetical future point.
A hard border will happen only if EU obstinacy pushes us into No Deal. It will then be needed rapidly, as Brussels says.
Varadkar’s continued posturing is suicidal. It’s time to be a real statesman.
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Let’s get tough
THERESA May needs her most experienced, hard-bitten negotiators in Brussels.
The EU is now represented by Martin Selmayr, the bullying German eurocrat bent on punishing Britain. So it is vital we deploy the legal skills of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox alongside tough Kiwi trade expert Crawford Falconer.
Forget the europhile civil servant Olly Robbins.
We need heavier hitters.