Brexit: Andrew Neil says we will remain ‘Great Britain'
With less than a month until the end of the transition period on December 31, both the UK and EU are scrambling to come to a trade agreement. But neither side is able to back down on fishing, governance and the level-playing field.
Now BBC veteran Neil has warned the Prime Minister a no deal would be a “setback for the West and democracies everywhere”.
He said: “For No Deal won’t just have serious, negative consequences for Britain and the European Union.
“It would be a setback for the West and democracies everywhere.”
He said talks were so close to conclusion and anything other than an agreement would be disastrous.
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Mr Neil said: “It would be especially ludicrous to fail to agree now when about 98 per cent of the Brexit deal has already been settled.
“To allow the remaining 2 per cent to get in the way would be a monumental failure of statecraft, on a par with the democracies’ appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the Anglo-French invasion of Suez in 1956 on a false prospectus.”
Mr Neil continued: “Britain and the EU share the most fundamental of values: liberal democracy, market economies, the rule of law, with equality for all under the law.
“If two entities that share so much that is good in the world, and are largely untied in hostility to what is bad, cannot agree their post-Brexit arrangements in harmony and with mutual respect, then be in no doubt – authoritarians everywhere will be celebrating.
“They will see it as yet another nail in the coffin of Western democracy.
“They will be more sure than ever that the 21st century belongs to them.”
Mr Neil argued Britain needs a “dynamic eurozone” in order to prosper in a post-Brexit country.
He continued: “We need a dynamic eurozone to prosper ourselves.
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“And our politicians have their own work cut out.
“They need to tell us what exactly a post-Brexit Britain is going to do with its newly returned sovereignty.
“What is the strategy for putting the country at the forefront of artificial intelligence, pharma, robotics, digitisation and 5G – all of which could boom in a Britain no longer held back by the EU’s over-cautious regulation.
“British politicians have been silent on what it is they plan to do with Brexit.
“After January 1, there will be no excuse for any further silence.”
During a phone call over the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to continue trade negotiations.
Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “I’ve repeated my offer, which is if it is necessary to talk to other capitals, I’m very happy to do that.
“The Commission is very determined to keep the negotiations to the way they have been done, between us and the Commission.
Last week, the Prime Minister said a no deal Brexit would be wonderful for the UK.
He said: “Unfortunately, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.
“I’ve got to tell you that from where I stand now it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.”
As negotiations continue to remain gridlock, Ms Von der Leyen has taken over Michel Barnier’s EU negotiation team.
She said: “Positions remain apart on fundamental issues.
“Our negotiators are working.
“One way or another in less than three weeks it will be new beginnings for old friends.”
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