Officials in Brussels are hoping pro-Remain MPs will overturn the outcome of last year’s EU referendum, according to a UK Independence Party (UKIP) MEP.
Gerard Batten debunked claims by Brexit secretary David Davis that “concrete progress” has been made in Brexit negotiations, and said: “I can’t see the prospect of anything happening very much, because the EU hopes that the quislings in the British Parliament will find a way of overturning this, and all they are doing is delaying the process for as long as possible.”
The MEP blasted the government for adopting what he deems to be too soft an approach, saying: “We’re going about it completely the wrong way, we shouldn’t be asking them about how we should leave, we should leave and then explain to them how it’s going to work.”
Batten said that would force the EU to accept Britain’s terms as it would not have an alternative.
The MEP’s remarks echo the EU assertion that “no decisive progress” has been made as it attempts to hammer out the terms for the UK’s withdrawal.
The two sides have mainly found themselves at loggerheads over the ‘divorce bill’ that the UK will pay once it withdraws from the bloc.
While there is no set figure yet, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it could amount to €60 billion (US$70 billion). Unconfirmed reports, however, say the UK might have to pay up to €100 billion.
But Batten said “we don’t owe them anything,” and that both the House of Lords Committee and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament have verified that is the case.
Davis should tell his EU counterparts that all the UK intends to hand over is a “big fat zero,” Batten quipped, adding that “a lot of things are in their interest to solve with us.”
Davis and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, met for the third round of Brexit talks this week.
Their meeting clashed, however, with that of Juncker and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a staunch Remainer who has previously called on Brexit to be derailed.
Asked if Blair’s attempt to hinder Brexit would be supported by the public, the MEP said: “Who is Tony Blair? He is not elected to anything and by going off and talking to the EU he is obeying the instructions of his international pay masters,” who, the MEP claimed, want the UK to stay in the EU.
Saying that the public is still paying for the consequences of Blair’s government, Batten added he was “surprised” Juncker would “waste” his time on meeting the former leader.