LEADING THE WAY OUT OF THE EU

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Monday 10 September

As the clock ticks down to the EU’s bespoke Brexit summit in November, the pressure is ramping up, the deadlock between British and EU negotiators loosening. At another special meeting in Salzburg later this month, the EU27 are to issue new guidelines to Michel Barnier. Brussels’ priority is to get some form of arrangement sorted in time for Britain’s departure, which as it happens, is 200 days from now.

Barnier is accused of being too dogmatic in insisting Britain cannot sign up to some parts of the Single Market and not others, which means a horrible fudge is in the offing. The great beneficiary will be Theresa May’s even more horrible Chequers plan. Fighting against it today is former Brexit minister Steve Baker who warns the proposal will not get through Parliament.

In Baker’s view, with Labour indicating it would vote against whatever the government returns from the November summit with, it would be “fanciful” to expect parliamentary approval. He is right of course and the EU27 – who hawkishly watch the goings on in Parliament – know it too. Hence the strong likelihood of a fudged political agreement before the year is out with a view to arranging a single market-based deal during the transition period. The EU knows full well Chequers and any Barnier-esque extension of it will not get through the Commons.

According to Baker, 80 Tory MPs would vote in line with the grassroots against such a humiliating arrangement. Chequers also threatens to split the party in two.

“When negotiating, the prime minister needs to demonstrate her intent and also her power to deliver, he told the Press Association.

“If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid.”

In other news, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats came third in last night’s general election. The right-wing party has attracted legions of new voters on the back of its pledge to run an EU-referendum, a popular policy pitch due to the waves of migrants that have flooded into the country.

Like Britain, Sweden is not in the Eurozone. Splitting from the bloc is not such a tall order – so long as you don’t mess it up like our leaders have. Westmonster have the story.