Thursday 20 September 2018

Tories refusal to allow Theresa May take 'pragmatic' apprach to Brexit risking 'no deal', Phil Hogan warns

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
John Downing

John Downing

A DEAL resolving the Irish border crux can be achieved if Britain makes the necessary compromises, Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has said.

But Mr Hogan also warns that British Conservatives’ failure to allow Prime Minister, Theresa May, to take a more pragmatic stance seriously risks a “no deal” outcome to the EU-UK Brexit talks which would damage all sides, especially Ireland.

The EU Agriculture Commissioner says the Britain has engaged “in a recurring cycle of silly behaviour” since the outcome of the Brexit referendum in June 2016.  He says every time Prime Minister May courageously tried to make real compromises with the EU factions inside her own party prevented her.

In a hard-hitting speech to be delivered today ((FRI)), Mr Hogan is scathingly critical of some of the “ultra-Brexiteers” – including Jacob Rees Mogg and Boris Johnson - whom he compares with US President Trump.  He castigates President Trump saying he resembles a cattle dealer who takes a short-term view of the world and fails to make sustainable deals which can benefit  all involved.

“Hard-driven bargains  are no foundation for long-term relations,” he says of President Trump’s flawed approach to global trade deals.

Commissioner Hogan will tell the Kennedy Summer School in Wexford that the EU’s long-standing policy of doing fair and honest trade deals across the globe is paying dividends.  “Partners across the globe are lining up at our door to conclude trade agreements with us,” he says.

Mr Hogan says that this year alone the EU has done trade deals with Canada and Japan.  In the near future similar deals will be done with Mexico, the South American countries’ Mercosur grouping, Australia and New Zealand.

The EU Commissioner said the current of EU-UK talks signalled a Brexit deal close to the one recently concluded between the European Union and Canada.  This would require a back-stop style agreement on the Irish border to ensure it remains “invisible” as it is at present.

Mr Hogan said he believed this is possible if the UK takes a more practical approach to the talks. More generally, he said he is optimistic that mainstream politicians can triumph over populists in both the EU and the US.

Online Editors

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