Brexit architect Nigel Farage has said that Brussels bureaucrats are “scared” of a no-deal, clean Brexit because of the cost to European manufacturers and the looming eurozone recession.
When asked on Sky News on Wednesday if he were offended by European Council President Donald Tusk saying there was a “special place in hell” for Brexiteers, the Leave Means Leave vice-chairman said, “No, not particularly. They’re scared, they’re rattled. They really worried.
“I was in the parliament last Wednesday, I said that their arrogance and the behaviour of the unelected elites was driving British public opinion towards a WTO ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
“And I saw the fear in Juncker’s face, in Barnier’s face, and it was interesting — before that comment, what Tusk was saying what that we must not have a no-deal Brexit.
“They are now getting the heat from the German car manufacturers, the French wine producers, the Belgian chocolate makers who are saying, ‘for goodness’ sake, if the UK leaves without a deal on the 29th of March, we are going to be hit with tariffs at a time when the eurozone is heading into recession.’ They’re scared.”
Exiting the EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms — rather than Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement that would entail a near-two year transition period, an Irish backstop that could lock Northern Ireland into the bloc’s Customs Union, and a £39 billion divorce bill — was voted the public’s favourite Leave option in a recent poll.
Leave Means Leave chairman John Longworth added on Thursday that a WTO exit would be “very good” for the British economy, telling TalkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, “If we left on WTO terms, of course the cost of living would go down, people would be more secure in jobs, and we’d be able to trade with the world.”
The former director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, who was forced to resign after coming out in support of a Leave vote, went on to call Prime Minister May a “devious remainer” who “tried to keep us in the Customs Union all along, which is a protectionist zone, in order to protect French farmers at the expense of British consumers.”
Mr Longworth added that he believed Mrs May included the Irish backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement to keep the UK as closely aligned to the EU as possible, saying, “The prime minister and her team clearly negotiated our way into that backstop agreement. They wanted that agreement to keep us in the Customs Union, so that was the entire game-plan.”
On Thursday morning, Mrs May met with the Eurocrats who had been blunt in their position that they would not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement or backstop — the meeting resulting in no prospect of change, with the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt saying that the prime minister had assured him there would be a backstop after Brexit.