EU Leaders ‘Disrespected’ UK PM May with ‘Jibes’, Brexit Secretary Complains
The EU leaders disrespected British Prime Minister Theresa May with “jibes” during the recent informal summit of the EU 28 in Salzburg, Austria, the UK’s Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has complained to the conference of the ruling Conservative Party.
Raab has also sent the European Union another “get serious about Brexit” warning, in essence threatening a no-deal scenario.
The Salzburg Summit on September 20-21, 2018, was the first gathering of the EU 28 leaders since May unveiled her Brexit blueprint, also known as the Chequers plan.
In spite of May’s speech in its defense, the EU leaders promptly shot it down, while emphasizing that the time for reaching a Brexit deal was running short.
UK Brexit Secretary Raab was highly critical of the EU’s reaction to Theresa May’s proposals in Salzburg.
“Our Prime Minister has been constructive and respectful,” he told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Monday, as cited by BBC News.
“In return we heard jibes from senior leaders, and we saw a starkly one-sided approach to negotiation,” Raab insisted.
“If the EU want a deal, they need to get serious,” he added, declaring that the UK would not be “bullied” into signing a “one-sided” arrangement, and was thus prepared to leave without a deal.
While admitting that the Chequers plan was not “perfect”, the British Brexit Secretary urged Tory Eurosceptics who were campaigning against May’s blueprint to support it.
“[If the EU insists on trying to] lock us in via the back door [of its customs union and single market, the UK could be left with] no choice [but to leave without a deal],” he stated.
“[The] whole of the government machine is busy preparing for no deal… because it might happen”, he said.
“I find it hard to believe that they would, for narrow political ends, seek to punish Britain in such a crass and counterproductive way,” Raab said regarding doomsday predictions in the event of a hard Brexit.
An EU – UK deal was supposed to be reached by the European Council summit on October 18, 2018.
With the Brexit date of March 29, 2019, less than 6 months away, the new expectation is to reach an agreement by mid-November when a special crunch EU summit would be convened.
(Banner image: Dominic Raab on Twitter)