Brexit: Political willingness needs to be shown says Dutch MEP
Brexit negotiators have until Sunday to come up with a deal after talks over dinner between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen did not yield any breakthroughs. The leaders agreed that talks should continue in the next few days and that a firm decision on the future of the negotiations needs to be taken before December 13. Mr Johnson’s team had hoped that a face-to-face meeting with Ms von der Leyen would inject new political momentum into the process but their discussion did not go as smoothly as they planned.
Mrs von der Leyen said the two sides were still “far apart”, while Downing Street said “very large gaps remain”.
Time is running out to reach a deal before December 31, when the UK stops following EU trading rules.
Major disagreements remain on fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be governed.
As many Brexiteers wonder whether the 2016 EU referendum results could end up being betrayed, research conducted by Express.co.uk suggests what could be behind the bloc’s unwillingness to compromise.
The plaque at the entrance to the Visitors Centre of the European Parliament arguably indicates that Brussels would ultimately like to see nation states completely abolished.
Britain’s departure from the bloc goes against this ideal.
The plaque reads: “National sovereignty is the root cause of the most crying evils of our times…
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“The only final remedy for this evil is the federal union of the peoples.”
The plaque was written by Philip Kerr, later the Marquess of Lothian, who was a British diplomat in the build up to World War 2.
Journalist and historian Leo McKinstry wrote for The Telegraph in 2016: “Philip Ker’s addiction to federalism is shared by the EU today, hence the special place given to his chilling utterance.
“The destruction of national sovereignty is the ideological driving force behind the Brussels oligarchs as they plot to build their federal superstate.
“That explains why they are so obsessed with free movement, mass immigration and cultural diversity. Those are all instruments for smashing traditional nationhood and creating a new common European citizenship. As the EU’s rulers know only too well, a country without any borders or identity is not a country at all.”
This concept was reinforced by Ukip founder Alan Sked, who, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, claimed Britain was willing to cease to exist as an independent sovereign nation in order to join the European Economic Community (EEC) – the precursor to the EU.
Former Prime Minister Edward Heath signed the accession treaty to join the EEC in 1972. However, that was just the culmination of a lifetime of efforts from both him and his predecessor Harold Macmillan, who first applied to join the Community in 1963.
Mr Sked argued that Mr Macmillan and Mr Heath adopted strategies of deliberate deception to get in.
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The emeritus Professor of International History at the London School of Economics (LSE) told Express.co.uk: “Macmillan in 1961 set up a long-term policy committee under Sir Frank Lee.
“Sir Frank was brought out of retirement to look at the future policies of the EEC once Britain was inside.
“This Committee was set up after a meeting at the end of August, 1961.
“The Committee accepted, and bear in mind that this was a British Cabinet Committee, that the long term goal should have been the replacement of sterling by a European reserve currency.
“It said there was strong support from the City of London for this.
“The Committee also questioned whether the UK would even exist as an independent sovereign state by the year 2000.”
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The idea that nation states should be abolished was also put forward not long ago by former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, who claimed “the time of the homogenous nation state is over”.
Speaking at an assembly of European leaders marking the 21st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in 2010, Mr Van Rompuy said the “danger of euroscepticism was spreading beyond the confines of countries such as Britain and was becoming a stronger force across the whole continent”.
He declared: “We have together to fight the danger of a new euroscepticism.
“This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries.
“In every member state, there are people who believe their country can survive alone in the globalised world. It is more than an illusion – it is a lie.”
The former Belgian Prime Minister also equated euroscepticism with fear, which eventually leads to war – echoing former French president Francois Mitterrand’s famous phrase that “nationalism is war”.
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