Yes, Mr Tusk, the EU must be ‘defeated’


This union of political elites is the enemy of democracy and freedom in Europe.

Amid the millions of words of obfuscation and bull being spouted about Brexit, we witnessed a rare moment of truth this week. European Council president Donald Tusk let the cat out of the Brussels bag when he warned the European Parliament that the EU will be ‘defeated’ in the Brexit talks unless it maintains absolute unity behind its leaders’ tough stance.

The top Eurocrat told MEPs that Brexit is the European Union’s ‘toughest stress test’, and so ‘We must keep our unity regardless of the direction of the talks. If we fail, then the negotiations will end in our defeat.’

What’s that? Defeat for one side and, by implication, victory for the other? Whatever happened to the PR notion of the Brexit negotiations being a diplomatic chat between old allies, to work out amicable arrangements for future friendly relations?

Tusk’s loose talk about the dangers of ‘defeat’ has killed that lie. It confirms that the EU sees the battle over Brexit as a fight to the finish. Diplomacy is simply war by other means.

This war is not between the EU and the UK government or Westminster. They are essentially on the same side, as revealed by Tory prime minister Theresa May’s leaked private plea to EU leaders to agree a deal that can get her off the hook at home.

No, the war is between the EU as the club of Europe’s rulers on one side, and the revolting peoples of European nations on the other. From the Brexit referendum to the results of elections in Germany, Austria or the Czech Republic, every test of European public opinion today is another sign of a ‘populist’ – aka democratic – uprising against the EU elites.

That’s why the EU feels it cannot afford to give significant ground in the battle over Brexit. It fears any concessions to the UK will only encourage others to demand the same freedom. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has bitter experience of being on the wrong end of EU ‘negotiations’, spelt it out last month. ‘The EU does not want to negotiate with Britain’, he told the UK. ‘The greatest nightmare for Brussels, but also Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, is a mutually advantageous agreement with Britain. This will be interpreted, in their mind, by the rest of the riff-raff of Europe – the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Portuguese – as a sign you can confront the EU’s deep establishment and get a decent deal out of it.’

That is also why we should be seeking the defeat of the EU elites over Brexit, as a victory for UK voters and ‘the rest of the riff-raff of Europe’. Let’s be clear that, in this war, the EU is the army of anti-democracy.


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