Time to get much better and tougher in Brexit negotiations

Brexit was always going to be challenging, exciting and the greatest opportunity this country has had for years.

The EU seeks to make all countries the same using the success of Germany to subsidise the rest. Brexit gives us the opportunity to forge ahead, building on our strengths without the damp blanket of EU socialism holding us back.

In politics some are more vocal than others. Typically the vested interests fill the air with gloomy predictions of disaster to come. Blair’s fifth column agitate confidently against it and Europhile Remainers are colluding with the EU to stop it.

Weighed down by all this, Theresa May has opted for being nice – a fantastic trait when things are going well but a potential weakness during troubled times. We now need resolve, grit, determination and self belief. The release of Darkest Hour coincides with Theresa May’s attempt at a new evacuation from Europe. Churchill’s was tough but triumphant. Being nice was not required.

There are clear rules for successful negotiation:

• Decide clearly what you want and go for it. Employ the cleverest and toughest team to get it

• Demand the maximum and look determined to get it.

• Exploit your opponent’s weaknesses and conceal your own.

• Threaten (and mean it) to walk out unless the other side is reasonable

The EU has employed these tactics but we have not. With Labour snipping at the PMs

heels it is little wonder, but toughen up we must.

She’s trying to negotiate with an entity which can’t negotiate. 27 nations all have

different views and interests. So it’s easier to keep them out and just say “no”,

something which, as a French civil servant, Michel Barnier is very good at: no

concessions on free movement of people, no special deals (because everyone else will

want one), no separate agreements with other countries and no concessions to the

City, on agricultural protectionism or on the wretched Common Fisheries Policy

(CFP).

Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker know well that concessions will open up the

demands from other disgruntled members. That an EU problem, not ours. We must

not let it become our problem.

It is time for Britain to toughen up.

We must make it abundantly clear that the overgenerous deals we’ve already made on

contributions, the Irish border and citizenship are subject to satisfactory trade

arrangements. No trade, no deal.

Second, issue the same threats to EU companies exporting to Britain and to EU

projects in Britain and nations outside funded by Britain, that the EU is sending to

British counterparts. Hint that we will opt for anti-German protectionism and an

immediate block on payments unless we get a reasonable deal.

Third, announce that we will immediately opt out of the CFP and the Common

Agricultural Policy and that under no circumstances will we accept the EU’s new form

of protectionism in any demand that we should pay to trade.

When we leave the political institutions we won’t pay for marble palaces in Brussels

Britain’s choice is whether to fight back or be struck by fear into becoming a servile

satellite to a failing union. I will always choose to fight, so would Churchill.

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