Campbell Campbell-Jack: Brexit chief’s scandalous security slur against Britain

From having to stump up an outrageous divorce bill to be allowed to leave on the EU’s terms, to the debacle over the Irish border, Brexit negotiations have been marked by EU intransigence and the British government’s willingness to compromise. Throughout discussions the EU have played hardball forcing their position relentlessly and the government has given ground, unless strongarmed by the DUP.

Few have appeared as inflexible as the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. In a recent speech to the Berlin Security Conference even he outdid himself. In an argument typical of his approach to Brexit Barnier framed the discussion in either-or terms; either completely in or completely out, even with something as vital as defence and security.

On the same day that Britain offered an increase in the divorce payout, Barnier was unrelenting in his suggestion that Britain was unilaterally leaving Europe in the lurch. In Barnier’s scenario Europe is facing a crisis due to terrorism and in the face of this danger Britain is running away.

‘[Brexit] was a decision taken . . . after a series of attacks on European soil . . . a decision that came six months after the French minister of defence issued a call for solidarity to all his European counterparts to join forces to fight the terrorism of Daesh. Never had the need to be together, to protect ourselves together, to act together been so strong, so manifest. Yet rather than stay shoulder to shoulder with the Union, the British chose to be on their own again.’

One would think that a Frenchman would remember the history of the last century and have been profoundly grateful that Britain had previously chosen to go it on its own. But no good deed goes unpunished, especially with the French.

So outrageous was Barnier’s attack that even the Guardian, which has consistently opposed Brexit and condemned British negotiating tactics, described this as ‘a dangerous and counterproductive tactic’.

To suggest that because Britain is leaving the EU it is therefore leaving behind any responsibility for or participation in European security is typical of the blinkered view of Europhiles that the EU alone is Europe and the only player on the European scene.

The clear implication of Barnier’s speech is that Britain, by choosing to leave the EU, has chosen to abandon any effort to maintain Europe’s security. This comes from the spokesman and chief negotiator for the same EU which has facilitated the indiscriminate immigration of hundreds of thousands from the Middle East including, as we have already experienced, terrorists and their sympathisers.

Barnier argued that once we leave the EU Britain will be reduced to playing an ad hoc role on the side-lines of European defence along with couple of dozen other partners. ‘Norway,’ Barnier sagely noted, ‘is one of the countries with which we co-operate closely.’ However, Barnier conveniently chose to forget that the UK spent the equivalent of 27 per cent of the total EU public expenditure on defence. Norway spent the equivalent of 3 per cent.

Barnier went on to compare Britain’s departure from EU security arrangements to the ‘strategic repositioning’ of the United States government. In doing so he equated our decision to leave the EU with what he sees as Trump’s isolationism.

In this he was at least right. The same force on both sides of the Atlantic brought about both the election of Trump and Brexit, namely the disgust of ordinary people with the self-regarding elites who govern us. Barnier seems oblivious to the fact that he is an archetypical representative of the smug autocrats who are our latter day ancien regime.

Despite expressing concern regarding the defence capabilities of Europe, Trump has committed the USA to continued support of collective security. In a speech outside Nato headquarters in May he clearly stated that the US would ‘never forsake the friends that stood by our side’ in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. A month later he committed the USA to Article 5 of the Nato constitution which binds members to mutual aid in case of attack.



Trump did, however, also press the other members of Nato to pay their fair share, or the agreed 2 per cent of GDP. Ever since the beginning of the Cold War, Europe has sheltered under the defence umbrella provided by the US taxpayer.

Few European governments are willing to meet their commitment to European security. The USA spends 4.4 per cent of GDP on defence – other than the UK only Estonia and Greece amongst European Nato members pass the 2 per cent threshold. The official average among European Nato members has crept down to 1.6 per cent – and the reality is closer to 1.3 per cent or less.

Despite what appears to be Britain’s willingness to try to allocate 2 per cent of GDP to defence spending our armed forces have been gutted under successive governments. A misjudgment by a cross-Channel ferry leaving Portsmouth could wipe out a considerable proportion of the Royal Navy, which is today smaller than the task force sent to the Falklands in 1982.

As Patrick Benham-Crosswell ably illustrated recently, it is not a matter of throwing money at the military but of how the money is spent. Expenditure does not automatically translate into combat effectiveness.

The government and the MoD have a poor record on spending, either on the strategic decisions which must be made or on getting value for the taxpayer’s money. Too many decisions have been made with an eye to vulnerable constituencies, too many purchases made without accountability.

A 2 per cent target for defence spending no more guarantees the money will be wisely used than a 0.7 per cent target for overseas aid guarantees it will not end up in Swiss bank accounts.

Despite Barnier’s posturing Britain will remain committed to the defence of Europe. The only real question is: Will we be able to meet that commitment with the armed forces we have?

Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack

  • martianonlooker

    On the basis of practice makes perfect, Britain should do its bit for the improvement of EU security. So, to this end, Britain should assist the EUs version of security by shipping over the 35000 Jihadis, their families and their supporters. After all, most of them came the channel route.

  • Waggler

    Barnier is way outside his brief.

    Daily he reminds us of the benefits of remaining part of Europe and NATO while leaving the EU.

    • gs_schweik

      I agree with your sentiment.
      But I’m not sure he is acting outside his brief.
      They don’t work like us. No definite responsibilities, accountabilities or agreed limits.
      Just a generally agreed intention to damage us, anything that does is fine.

      • Waggler

        Fair point.

        The brief I had in mind was him caring for the interests of the EU27.

    • Coniston

      We have always been part of Europe, and always will be. Unless anyone has a cunning plan to tow us down to the South Pacific. Too many people confuse, deliberately or not, Europe with the EU.

    • gunnerbear

      He’s not acting outside of his brief…he’s doing what the rEU HOGS are demanding he does….fight for the EU at every opportunity……which makes me think with all the spiel being boomed out by all sides, that a fudge is being cooked up and they all want a distraction.

  • Pozieres

    Why don’t we actually remove our support, intelligence sharing etc – they gain much more from this than we do – and then see how he squeals? Why should we continue to help protect people who do us harm and revile us?

    • Simon Platt

      Tempting. But we should remember that Europe is our home, not our enemy. It’s just the EU that is our enemy.

      • Pozieres

        There are many countries in Europe who have always been, and still are our rivals and enemies.

        • Simon Platt

          Rivals is one thing. But enemies? We should seek to be friends with all our neighbours.

          • Pozieres

            No matter how friendly we try to be, there are still countries on mainland Europe that are our enemies. Simply to let people like Barnier, and the people he represents, revile us is hopelessly naive. We need to recognise these people for what they, stand up for ourselves and face them down.

          • Simon Platt

            I quite agree that M. Barnier should be firmly dealt with. But I insist that the generality of the French people are not to blame for him.

          • Pozieres

            You can insist all you like. It doesn’t alter the facts.

          • Simon Platt

            You think Frenchmen should be blamed for Barnier? I hope you don’t blame me for May.

          • Pozieres

            Barnier is a side issue. The fact remains that there are countries in Europe who have always been and still are our enemies. It is naive and stupid to pretend otherwise. We are all to blame for May who heads our elected government.

          • Simon Platt

            That’s bonkers: paranoid, even.

          • Pozieres

            If you think that France and Germany are treating us with open armed friendship, sweetness and affection, then I would suggest that it is not I who is bonkers.

          • StellaJ

            I agree that the way the EU negotiators and anti-democratic technocrats have treated the UK is beyond the pale. The level of arrogance and animosity is quite astonishing, given our history and the eye-watering amounts of money we have shovelled in, for very little return. I trust that no reasonable person can fail to have their measure now, both at home and abroad.
            But they do not represent the average person in France or Germany. I know France well, and can vouch for the fact that many people I know are cheering us on. The scales are falling from their eyes about the level of fanaticism in the EU project, and they fear it will not end well. You just never hear about that in the media.

          • StellaJ

            PS. The exception is in Paris, predictably enough. All the bankers, media types, “economists” etc, just as in London, are pleased and flattered enough with their sense of influence that they hate the idea of the UK rocking the boat.

          • Pozieres

            But it is not the average person who has any say in international relations, it is the elites in the countries concerned. The French and German governments are not our friends. They are our rivals and enemies. Take a brief look at the utterings of Hollande and Macron. In particular, read what Macron said on the very steps of Downing Street after his recent visit to Theresa the Appeaser.

          • StellaJ

            Of course. I thought that was what I was saying. The elites of these countries and the EU are certainly behaving like enemies, and it is shocking after all that we have poured, and continue to pour both into Europe and the EU.

          • Pozieres

            Sorry if I did not fully understand you first time round.

          • a misplaced modifier

            Good fences make good neighbours.

          • Simon Platt

            I quite agree. We have a moat. Should do nicely.

          • Prompt Critical

            Like Hitler and Napoleon?

          • Andy

            Perhaps many Continental European States ought to seek to ‘be friends with’ their neighbour the United Kingdom. I see very little evidence of that attitude coming from the French, Germans, Poles etc. No, they have by their own attitude signalled that the UK is to be regarded as an enemy. So be it.

          • Ed McA

            You forgot to add the Irish Republic.

          • Mill House

            It’s a great shame they can’t reciprocate in kind.

          • StellaJ

            I’m with you on this one. I spend a lot of time in France, and have many French friends. The huge, glaring, deliberate (?) omission from every EU story I read or hear is that many, many people in France, and no doubt across Europe, share our contempt for the EU and its goals, its arrogance and meddling. This has never been about hating our neighbours; it is about the sinister creep of an anti-democratic, totalitarian superstate that is eroding the fundamental rights of European citizens while dressing it up as “economic benefits” and “human rights”.
            There are plenty of people who are fully supportive of Brexit, and long for it to be a success – to ensure that a brake is applied to the EU’s ever more scary supra-national power grabs.

      • a misplaced modifier

        Speak for yourself. Some of us have long and bitter memories; we may have forgiven but we shall never forget Germany’s dream of a Fourth Reich.

        • Prompt Critical

          And we shall never forget Louis XIV and Napoleon after him.

        • Reborn

          That dream is coming true & it calls itself the EU.

          • gunnerbear

            Really, this is the same Reich that can’t even make the Poles behave or the Irish toe the line…?

    • gunnerbear

      “Why don’t we actually remove our support, intelligence sharing etc – they gain much more from this than we do…” Do they?

      • Pozieres

        So I’m led to believe. Five eyes and all that.

  • Dave S

    The EU knows that without Nato it is defenceless against say even Turkey if that country were to attack and as for Russia forget it. Three weeks to Berlin ?
    Then defence and security have nothing to do with the EU but are the remit of Nato. It is all just posturing from Eu 27.
    What must really get them going is that they have to rely on the US and to a lesser extent on us as they always have done since 1945 .
    Typical passive aggressive behaviour from Barnier.

    • gs_schweik

      Their pretensions are those of imperial Rome.
      As is their spite towards any state that threatens the Empire.
      But they don’t have Rome’s army.

      • Pozieres

        Not yet anyway. But they are working on it.

        • LOL. You don’t build a combat army by having a parade. You build an army, a real one, in battle. Russia has one, you have one, we have one, nobody in Europe does.

          • shred

            D.A. They have national armies that have just been grabbed by Brussels. The High Representative is a Frederica Mogherini, who is a career politician, never elected, and was in the Italian communist party until it disbanded. The armies will now be under her control and nations who signed will not be able to refuse. Denmark stayed out. Frederica is big pals with Jens Stoltenberg, the political head of NATO, who was also a commie and loves the EU. He was also one of Norway’s quisling politicians who tied them into the EU after they voted to leave.

            They will have quite a few soldiers and the French and Germans are probably good fighters. The French H bomb will also be available in theory. Mogghi talks about external action and she has been up to the border with Russia as she thinks they may invade. Probably not improbable that she would like to go to Ukraine and sort them out. With Belgian generals in charge of other people’s armies it should go well.

            Unfortunately for the UK, Treezer the Appeazer has signed us up to join them and forgotten the result of the referendum, for the time being. They may want to use our two new aircraft carriers which can’t take conventional fighters so we may have to lend them our vtol F35s if they ever work properly.

            http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I147082

          • That’s nice. Italians, French, and Germans, led by Belgians. Have any of them ever beaten anyone, since the Czar. I don’t see the von Hindenburg type of general in this mess. I do see a bunch that believes in tyranny. Best for you to get your people out of this loser’s coalition cause you know better.

            Be a nice parade, and then General Winter will likely take a hand. The Germans and French do have some good troops, as they always have had, but where are the leaders – all I see are people managing the decline.

            Reminds me of the Polish colonel who was asked what he would do if he found his regiment between the Soviets and the Wehrmacht. He said he’d attack in both directions and die gloriously. I get the feeling that not much has changed in eastern Europe.

            That doesn’t mean we should fight them, but they’re becoming unreasonable allies, of course so is a good part of your government.

          • gunnerbear

            “They have national armies that have just been grabbed by Brussels.” That will be news to the French….

          • gunnerbear

            “The armies will now be under her control…” Except they won’t be unless EU HOGS wish it so.

          • shred

            Apparently not. They have signed up to an EU army which no nation will be able to stop alone. It will be an EU decision. The German forces will be strengthened and their armaments industry will supply the equipment, while the Uk’s will wither. This Slovak band has a worrying satire on the last time this happened.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygSkpVPo94Q

    • gunnerbear

      The US has since the ’60s never been that keen on large European forces other than as an attempted block against US forces. The Germans are now suggesting that if Trump wants them to spend more on German military capability, then so be it…the Germans have even talked about their own IND….. https://www.ft.com/content/277695dc-ec52-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6 …and for the FAZ to be even mentioning the idea of a FRG IND, that is unprecedented and unthinkable even 10 years ago….if Germany does decide to modernise its forces (as it looks very much at the UK model of Army 2020), then German units will be more than useful to NATO…. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/how-afghanistan-has-changed-the-bundeswehr-german-military-a-927891.html

  • Andy

    I believe Jack Delors called Barnier ‘the idiot from the Alps’. How right he was. Barnier’s comments and the underlying attitude is disgusting and disgraceful, more so when you consider the amount of blood and treasure the UK has given to ensure European freedom.

    With such an attitude towards the UK we should regard the EU has hostile to our interests and should treat it accordingly.

  • Prompt Critical

    Hey, on a completely different subject because there is nowhere else for it, why the sudden and complete blanket of silence over the second Labour Party suicide following upon sexual allegations? One moment, it was prominent in the news; next moment, it has completely disappeared. Even Guido says nothing about it!

  • Colonel Mustard

    Throughout the history of the EU French politicians have been a nightmare to negotiate with. With that long experience of them you might think the British establishment had learned something by now but they persist in playing “Mr Meek, Polite and Reasonable” against French/EU perfidy.

    It appears that “perfidious Albion” (coined and perpetuated by the French of course) operates best against its own.

    • I’m reminded, not for the first time, that when de Gaulle demanded the removal of American troops from France, President Johnson’s reply was to ask, whether he wanted us to take our dead as well. Posturing bullies are just that, and need a swift kick to get their attention.

  • Frank

    Calm down, he is just what the French call a little-penis. Getting provoked by Barnier is frankly absurd. His own country is going down the toilet and he attacks Britain. Meh, he needs to look after his own backyad before he attacks us.

  • Vaderfone

    “it is not a matter of throwing money at the military but of how the money is spent.”
    With a navy smaller than a task force, and an army that can fit in a football stadium, I don’t see much money actually getting to the military.

    Any EU exit fee should not be paid direct to the EU, but spent on rebuilding our armed forces. That way we can deploy them for the defence of Europe. This will be our divorce settlement.

  • Bik Byro

    Unfortunately the most highly advanced technological fighter jet cannot save people from a religious nutter in a Transit van.

    • Actually, it can but it is a trifle messy.

      • Ian Walker

        Especially if it’s a van full of jelly and custard

      • gunnerbear

        Really? The RAF constantly patrolled the skies above the UK…I don’t recall an RAF jet preventing the Omagh bombing or Warrington….

  • Jolly Radical

    I’d wager a bottle of Juncker’s favourite cognac that over the next few days Barnier tries to elevate the “Russians hacked the Brexit referendum” yarn into a major issue.

    To be fair to Barnier, he’s only doing his job – which is to intimidate, colonise and exploit the UK in the cause of an EU marxist-globalist state.

    • noix

      Strange that they didn’t manage to stop themselves getting thrown out of the Winter Olympics after being able to alter the result of the referendum and the American Presidential Election.

      • Jolly Radical

        That only proves that Russian hacking doesn’t work in the snow.

        Oops.

  • fred finger

    It is our so called friends the ‘r27’ that gave him his mandate. It is to them we should be telling what we think.

  • Muttley

    I don’t think Barnier’s bullying has to stop at all. He is doing the job he was mandated to do and doing it well. However, in the face of a bully, you need to stand up for yourself, otherwise the bullying will not only continue but get worse, as is proving to be the case.

    No, the problem lies with having a terminally weak prime minister who caves in at the first opportunity every time. She can’t hold a position, can’t stand up for her country, can’t draw firm lines in the sand, can’t present a strong opposing case, can’t communicate with her Cabinet, can’t control her MPs, can’t make good staff appointments, leans too heavily on unelected mandarins for advice, alienates our allies and pisses off at least half her potential voters.

    • Vaderfone

      “He is doing the job he was mandated to do and doing it well.”
      And May is doing the job she was mandated to do and doing it well – as an EU functionary.

    • gunnerbear

      You act as if the country is 100% behind Brexit and that every single member of the Blues is 100% behind Brexit……..Leave / Remain is an issue that crosses party boundaries – smashes tribal loyalities to pieces – that’s why TM and JC can’t control either of their mobs. TM could chop every Remainer in her Cabinet and it still wouldn’t change the fact that the Blues (and Reds) are divided not only in terms of Leave / Remain but further splintered in terms of exactly what Leave means and what a ‘good deal is’. There is no way to escape that reality unless you’re talking of instigating a coup d’etat with yourself as El Presidente…..but then you’d still have to deal with millions of Remain voters…. Just as Nigel F., said, a narrow victory for Remain would mean that Leave would fight on….Remain have taken him at his word and it is, I think, fantasy, to have expected them to do otherwise.

      • Muttley

        At the moment, I don’t think the Remain position is honourable or justified. They should accept the Brexit decision and not try to block or reverse it as they are doing. No-one asks or expects them to stop believing in EU membership or campaigning to change people’s minds, but trying to block or dilute the process because they don’t like it is despicable. Maybe in 40 years they can have another referendum and stage a re-entry.

        • gunnerbear

          “At the moment, I don’t think the Remain position is honourable or justified. They should accept the Brexit decision and not try to block or reverse it as they are doing.” I take you would have said the same of Powell and Benn in ’75, back in ’75, who said they’d do everything in their power to block and reverse the ‘In’ vote….I mean you would consider their actions despicable as well, wouldn’t you….?

          • Muttley

            Of course, once the public had voted. It would have been unthinkable amd wrong to frustrate that overwhelming mandate to stay in the EEC in 1975. But that doesn’t mean that the other side can’t continue to campaign to win a subsequent vote, as Leavers did. That is perfectly legitimate. What is not legitimate is using weasel words to undermine the referendum result and attempt to stay in the EU by the back door.

          • gunnerbear

            “Of course, once the public had voted. It would have been unthinkable amd wrong to frustrate that overwhelming mandate to stay in the EEC in 1975” Hmm….Powell certainly thought that using parliamentary tactics wasn’t unthinkable.. https://youtu.be/H4OWslOroaw

  • Mill House

    I wonder how Barnier would be behaving right now if we had someone like Nigel Farage as Prime Minister – someone who would be quite willing to tell him to do one ? He would probably be adopting a totally different attitude – anything to prevent Britain just walking away.

    • Probably not. Barnier just can’t accept the idea of us leaving. He can’t envisage why any country would want to leave the EU. He has zero imagination to consider any other possibilities.
      The old joke should be modified to “What is the difference between a terrorist and Barnier?”. Answer – “You can negotiate with a terrorist”

    • gunnerbear

      “I wonder how Barnier would be behaving right now if we had someone like Nigel Farage as Prime Minister – someone who would be quite willing to tell him to do one ?” MB would be behaving exactly the same because he’s representing the rEU HOGS.

  • poitierslimoges

    Even other French politicians openly refer to Barnier as “Le Crétin des Alpes”.
    No translation needed. They despise him.

    For May and Davis to be on their knees before this cretin (their word, not mine),
    this person, whose one and only tactic is a peasant stubbornness and refusal to negotiate,
    tells you all you need to know about how utterly useless and inept they both are.

    The Tories are well and truly buggered if they don’t sack May before she gets back to Brussels
    and signs off on UK becoming a servile colony of an EU dictatorship.

    • gunnerbear

      So you sack TM…no doubt some on here would then crack open the champagne and cry ‘Huzzah’….but then whoever becomes Blue One still faces the same set of issues… …and please don’t forget that not every leave voter was Blue or even right leaning…… ….and that chunk of Non-Blue-Non-Right-Leaning Leavers aren’t going to go with any sort of Brexit of the type loons like Minford and Redwood want…. …and yes, I know it’s a right testicle-ache when political dreams smash into the reality of real life.

  • The EU’s only negotiating tactic is bullying; it has no other. But we never seem to fight back, just put up with it. It tried similar bully-boy tactics with both Hungary and Poland, both of who ignored them and had the audacity to answer back. Bully-boys need to be hit hard, enough to make them think twice should they do it again. Mrs May needs a giant bombshell to drop on Barnier at their next meeting, but I suspect she will allow herself to be bullied again without fighting back.

  • Ian Walker

    Everyone knew as soon as he was announced that Barnier was going to be a problem. He’s a Euro-zealot – nothing is more precious to him that the expanding power and territory of the EU. He’s the reason Cameron came back with nothing to offer, and hence the referendum.

    Trying to negotiate with him is like trying to negotiate with ISIS – pointless, because his world view does not accommodate the idea of our independent existence.

    It should have been priority number one to seize on every inflammatory statement he made and use it as an excuse to halt talks, with an objective that the EU27 replaced him. Instead we’ve fallen into the trap of accepting his phased agenda (which has led to the Irish Border row) and left our PM and negotiators looking weak and divided.

    Only last week he was saying Britain wasn’t pulling its weight against the terrorists – brazenly while May was actually in Iraq visiting troops out there. Her response to this slur on our nation? To ignore it and instead attack our biggest and best ally because of Twitter.

    If Brexit is a failure, it’s because we have intellectual and political pygmies, undermined by quisling civil servants and special advisors, negotiating with intransigent and duplicitous fanatics.

    • poitierslimoges

      Don’t forget that the EU has been able to count on the refusal of the Remainers to accept the democratic result of the democratic referendum. That has weakened the UK at every stage of this business.

      Besides that, the one fatal mistake in any negotiation is to concede the agenda.
      May and Davis did this from day one.

      • gunnerbear

        “Don’t forget that the EU has been able to count on the refusal of the Remainers to accept the democratic result of the democratic referendum.” Bit like Powell and Benn then back in ’75 when they made it clear that they would never accept the will of the electorate and so would continue to demand the UK got out of Europe…. …or is that the sort of refusal to accept the will of the people you approve of?

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      Our corrupt , disgusting, anti-democratic, establishment.
      Our bent Mandarins.
      Plus, our spineless, useless, PM.
      Have turned BREXIT, into BREXIN.

  • The myth that the EU has much to do with defence is one that is widely promoted in Brussels and rightly ignored by the rest of the world. The defence of Europe rests on NATO (although the French had a funny approach to that during the cold war). The UK’s (inadequate) armed forces are a significant part of that, but it is the US that counts.

    I suspect Barnier (and the EU) is heaping the pressure onto May in the hope that the can postpone Brexit indefinitely. Given the strength of remain within Whitehall, Westminster and the BBC that might seem increasingly likely.

    • Jenny Keane

      The EU has done absolutely nothing to protect the People of Europe since it’s creation. All it has done is try to destroy Europe and all it stands for with the very able assistance of Soros, Merkel and the many Soros financed ‘Others’ within/without it. Nothing has been an accident, it has been deliberately carried out to destroy the West. As far as the UK is concerned Blair was the Director of Operations, as he himself has admitted.

  • grrlpower

    We need a second referendum to settle this stalemate once and for all.

    • Gloria Hole

      Of course we can, in 42 years time. Until then, carry on screeching.

      • grrlpower

        You will be the one “screeching” when we stop Brexit.

        You haven’t won yet, not by a long way. This is just the beginning.

        • Gloria Hole

          You have been saying the same thing for 18 months. Is that you AC Wailing?

          It’s time to embrace and wash yourself in the gloriousness of Brexit, AC.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Stopping Brexit would just confirm what a FASCIST you really are.

          Now get lost telemachus and take all your trick box of pseudonyms with you.

          • gunnerbear

            I’m intrigued, why does calling for a second vote make anyone a fascist?

        • Two-steps-forward

          What do you care? Last week you were leaving

    • Royinsouthwest

      Why not a third, fourth, fifth and sixth referendum? Perhaps it could become an annual event.

      • grrlpower

        Stop trivializing a serious issue, you troll.

        • Reborn

          You Mr Corbynista idiot trouble maker are a gem.
          A genuine Troll’s Troll.

    • Jenny Keane

      There is no Stale-mate. The UK voted to Leave the EU. End of.

  • Gloria Hole

    Stay in and have a voice, they told us, change the EU from within, we were told. What the past 18 months have shown is the UK never had a voice in the first place, the only country that does is Germany – they say jump and 27 countries say how high.

  • JB

    The EU just can’t seem to understand that it’s multicultural and anti Christian ideology is directly responsible for this, along with Merkel’s foolish refugee policy and their general support for silly military adventures that have destroyed undesirable but stable governments in the middle East.

  • Ravenscar

    Monsieur Barnier, is a tad confused, EU security is augmented because of the good offices of the UK government and its security services, the idea that if and when, hopefully very soon Britain leaves the Brussels Empire – that we’d cease to cooperate with our NATO allies is deranged but then le Cretin des Alpes has history insofar as ‘letting off and escaping the reservation’.

    As will the many who post here know, the most effective and by far the best intelligence service [outside of Mossad] is the ‘FIVE EYES’, ie US, UK, Aus, NZ, Can.

    I cannot foresee a likelihood and under any circumstances where the ‘Five eyes’ would not immediately be informing the relevant EU agencies if they sense any ‘chatter’ relating to an imminent attack on the mainland of Europe.

    This specious guff, crackpot nonsense and deliberate scaremongering by a halfwitted pompous French jerk who incidentally even many French people think the same of Barnier is basically what we refer to oop t’north as s%*7 stirring and nothing else. But then, that is their (EU Kommissariat) their modus operandi, is it not

  • Why exactly would you? For that matter, why should we, in the US? They seem to think they are the masters of the universe. F*** ’em. Whatever freedom they have is courtesy of the Anglo-Saxons. When we withdraw, they will simply lie down and surrender again, either to Iran, Russia, or Islamic terrorism. Nobody can fix them, why should we waste our national treasure on them. Our people have better uses for that money, and you can’t force people to be free.

    • gunnerbear

      Equally, if the voters in the EU continue to vote for parties intent on further integration, so be it, that’s their choice. To be honest, as much as I dislike Duff and his ilk, I think his thinking on the future of the EU has been realistic and to the point; either the EU reverts back to being a much looser trading arrangement or….and it’s a huge or…the EU looks at how the US is organised and goes all out for integration…no more ‘half way houses’ so the likes of the V4 Group will have to be told, “All in or all out…” and the EU reacts from there.

      • You have much right I think, but the centripetal forces in Europe are much higher in Europe than they were here. Europe is a polyglot (or diverse, I’m not degrading it here) group of countries with histories of their own, many languages and all that. We were a set of mostly homogenous British ex colonies who brought Britain with them. Nancy Astor wasn’t exactly wrong when she said that the American Revolution was a bunch of Brits fighting a German king for English rights. And mostly after that our immigrants came to get away from all those conflicts, and integrated (not as fast as you’d like, over a generation or two) and bought our dream.

        The EU would have to be, I think, an empire imposed by force, like Rome, and I doubt it can be done – even Rome mostly stopped at the Rhine, not the Vistula. The loose trading arrangement could be very good thing for Europe. There are some things where the economies of scale would benefit it as they do us. But it looks like they have a few too many people looking to aggrandise themselves, nothing new in that, of course.

        • Jenny Keane

          The EU wants ever tighter control of everyone, everything and every Country in the EU. This has become so very obvious over the past 20 years it cannot be denied. What they do no understand is that People, like Sand, if held too hard in the hand, will trickle through the fingers, if allowed to rest in the palm of the hand will stay there. The EU will have to radically change or will be responsible for some kind of War in Europe, again! The sudden urgent need for an Army shows they are afraid and like all Dictators think Force & Fear will win the day. I think many know better?

  • Kaiser

    so mr barnier you hold open the door to jihadists and ask the british to plug it with their bodies

    you sir can f o o k right off

  • grrlpower

    Trump’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a travesty and a slap in the face of the oppressed Palestinian community and of Arabs and Muslims everywhere.

    Jerusalem is the site of al-Aqsa, which to Muslims is the third holiest site on earth. It is the place from which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) ascended to heaven and came back with the revelation.

    Jerusalem and its holy mosque are in the hands of a foreign, illegal occupying army.

    Trump should be arrested for crimes against humanity and abetting Israel, an illegal terrorist state.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Have you become a Moslem now?

      • grrlpower

        No, I am a freethinking liberal atheist, but I take the side of the downtrodden and oppressed all over the world. That’s why I support the Palestinian cause.

        • shred

          You sound like the sort of grrl who might do well in the C of E, unless you’re Richard Dawkins after deciding to be a bird.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You are totally bogus, that is what you are.

          • Two-steps-forward

            My thoughts exactly.

        • AKM

          “I am a freethinking liberal atheist”

          …except you have never shown any particular capability for freethinking or belief in individual liberty. Based on what you write it would be more accurate to call yourself a transnational, socialist-feminist.

          • James60498 .

            Personally I would stick with lunatic.

          • William

            Probably with a touch of gender fluidity.

        • Reborn

          There is n “Palestinian cause” because Palestinians are not entitled to any homeland – much the same as Roma, but with added violence & heathen religious beliefs.

        • born1945

          Well Now my old China the British are the downtrodden not the muzzies

        • Adam Smith

          If you support the Palestinian cause then you must tell us what you’re going to do with 6 million Israelis? Where are they going to live? Or do you have other plans for them?

    • Ian Walker

      He’s implementing Obama’s policy

      • The legislation mandating (and funding it) it was signed in 1995, or thereabouts. Just as you guys decided on London/Westminster and we decided on Washington, it’s for Israel to say where their capital is.

        • shred

          Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to stay by the seaside instead of moving to a place full of religious nutters and stirring up the towel brigade? They could make Tel Aviv the political capital and Jerusalem the religious and tourist capital. Everyone happy and save a fortune.

          • Perhaps, but we’re trying out a new concept, a leader who does what he says he will. You might want to try it sometime. Makes things like Brexit go smoother.

          • shred

            Our glorious leader always has a choice of doing things she said she would as what she says keeps changing. If Obama was going to do it, wouldn’t it be an idea not to?

          • Well, there was a reason I voted against Obama twice (thrice if you count Hillary). I thought he might try to do what he said (and he did – to our detriment). Good point on your leader though, hard to know what she thinks, and impossible to know what she’ll think tomorrow.

          • James60498 .

            She thinks!

            Are you sure about that?

          • Simon Platt

            Well said. Mr Trump is not only dong what he said he would, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do, and what his predecessors had been supposed to to, for over 20 years. Because, of course, he’s the servant of the people. He’s a very important man, top dog, but the servant of the people first – or perhaps it would be better said that he is the servant of the US Constitution.

            I read his speech. I mostly liked what I read. It was, however, a complete surprise to me to learn about the 1995 act. If I had heard of it before, I had forgotten. So far as I can tell, Trump is doing his duty: no more, no less. You’d be hard put to believe that if you got all your news from the BBC.

            Why is this on topic? Oh, yes, I remember. We, too, have a leader who is supposed to serve and who needs to remember what her orders are.

          • gunnerbear

            “Perhaps, but we’re trying out a new concept, a leader who does what he says he will…” How is “Repeal and Replace” going then?

          • Tony in Southwark

            Demonstrations an dflag burning in Jerusalem – Nil – in Gaza Continuous – that is the balance Hamas brings to political discourse. Nobody’s rights have been affected by the USA’s recognition of the fact of Israel’s choice of ‘ capital’.

    • Reborn

      What an ignorant, SHOUTING, post
      The mohammedans have little claim to any part of Jerusalem, the Jews’ ancient capital
      which contains the tomb of King David amongst others.
      Jews & Christians have a claim to Jerusalem.
      Muslims have no claim.
      They have colonised & pillaged far too much of the World already.
      Let them retreat to their tents & leave the civilised World in peace.

    • a misplaced modifier

      You are ‘Feminist Future’ and I claim my £5.

    • born1945

      When any mooslim shows any concern for the rest of mankind I might only might have a thought for his wellbeing . and as for No ascending to heaven, have another one!

    • Tricia

      The Muslims are late comers to Jerusalem – Mohammed cobbled together his writings from some Jewish texts and then made himself a Prophet. He then went on to deny Christ as he post dates Christianity. Muslims have Mecca as their holy site – they have no claim to Jerusalem.

    • gunnerbear

      In the grand scheme o’ things, it’s not going to make a tiny bit o’ difference…

    • William

      Hi Kate, still having trouble with the caps lock I see.

    • NickIV

      Didn’t Christianity start somewhere around Jerusalem – I think around 650 years before Islam

    • Tony in Southwark

      Hamas and Hezbolah and the Feudal Monarchs of the Middle East are also going to be arrested for crimes against humanity?
      All of these are illegal terrorist states, Israel is a western style democracy.

      • Partridge

        A western-style democracy? So was apartheid South Africa. So how about giving the Palestinians the vote as full citizens of Israel, set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and live together happily ever after? Or at least try.

        • Tony in Southwark

          South Africa was not a ‘western style democracy’ as the vast majority of its citizens/ population was excluded from a meaningful national representation.

          Palestinians and their representatives define themselves as ‘not Israeli’. Of the 8.75m population 21% are Arabs and another 4.5% other than Jewish. All these groups are citizens and represented in the Knesset. All of the non-citizen Palestinians were offered Israeli citizenship in 1967, but the PLO Fatah etc campaigned to refuse – demanding the abolition of the state of Israel instead.

          So how exactly does this exclude them from Voting other than they do not want to be citizens of a nation they refuse to recognis? The process of becoming an Israeli citizen is open to them.

          • Partridge

            You’ve got to be joking. You seriously expect Palestinians to have accepted Israeli citizenship in the same year Israel was making war on them, thereby producing hundreds and thousands of refugees?
            If Israeli citizenship is truly open to the Palestinians, the Israelis could easily arrange a situation where a negotiated peace settlement can be reached in a one-state solution. but of course Israel would not then remain a Jewish state, so Israel would never allow it.

          • Tony in Southwark

            You are misrepresenting history here! Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria (backed by Gulg, Saudi and Iraqw) and defended itself and fought back and won territory off these attackers.

            Citizenship was truly offered. So exactly why didn’t the ‘Palestinians ‘ accept the offer of peace and citizenship from Israel? Because the PLO Fatah position was to destroy Israel.
            Clearly you are an apologist for the totalitarian anti-democratic military dictatorships and feudal monarchies that aligned against it and used the Palestinians as a pawn in an anti-American game.

            These countries refused to a Peace Treaty with Israle, until Egypt salvaged something after the Yom Kippur War and the Joranees abandoned claims to the West Bank.
            Israel, as I showed statistically re population – is not an exclusively Jewish state – again you display your essentuially anti-Semitic prejudices here.

          • Partridge

            Israeli history misrepresents history. Israel is its own worst enemy. And to criticise Israel is not anti-Semitism. As with many fanatics who cannot present a convincing argument, you resort to personal abuse and vilification. So perhaps you are the one who is prejudiced..

          • Tony in Southwark

            Exactly where did I resort to abuse and vilification/ I am not a ‘fanatic;’ on what basis do you make your this abusive remark?
            You are not merely criticising the state of Israel. eYou ar an anti-semite because you equate Israel with a jewish state – you wrote that -indeed you believe it has no right to exist at all and that would require a holocaust.
            Israeli history is readily apparent from reviewing general 20th century history. All of the Middle Estern state sexist as a result o f the World Wars of that century, the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the LoN mandates over these territories and their subsequent division and creation as independent nations, all of them including israel were subject to the same process. I note you make no attempt to criticise the creation of Islamic staes in Saudi etc.

          • Partridge

            ‘A national home for the Jews’ as per the Balfour declaration, sounds pretty much like a Jewish state. A few token Arabs in the Knesset don’t change that. It’s a big step from demanding an end to the Jewish state in its present form and demanding a Holocaust. But that’s how people like you seem to distort things. It’s totally irresponsible. And if you think the Israelis don’t rewrite history, then you must be pretty gullible.

    • BlackandWhite

      Israel has had Jerusalem as its capital since 1980. The US President has finally decided to recognise reality, albeit 37 years late and the UK government should do the same.

      After all a sovereign state is allowed to choose its own capital.

      We recognised the changes when Brazil moved its capital to Brasilia and we recognised that Nigeria moved its capital to Abuja. So what, other than naked anti-Semitism is preventing the UK government from recognising that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem?

      I notice you make no mention of the Druze or Christian members of the Palestinian community in Israel, both of whom have members VOLUNTARILY serving in the Israeli Defense Force.

      Could it be that your ranting is derived from a faith whose prophet today would be described as paedophile?

      After all who else but the usual suspects would respond to the reality of Trump’s decision by rioting on the street, thus revealing that they NEVER want to make peace with Israel. Indeed the real racists are in Gaza as no Jews were allowed to remain there and the Palestinian Authority plans to make the West Bank similarly “Judenrein” if they are ever allowed to take over what is really Judea.

      For the simple, here is a guide to the Middle East:
      – Arabia is for Arabs
      – Judea is for Jews

      • Not even to mention the Moslem members of the IDF, who are quite enthusiastic that they never had it so good.

      • Partridge

        Reality is not necessarily the same as legality. However, I agree there is no reason why Jerusalem should not be the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was in existence long before Islam came on the scene.
        There will always be those who express disagreement by rioting. Even so, it is perhaps time for Israel to consider making some magnanimous gesture or offer to the Palestinians (I know not what) to restart the long slow process towards eventual peace. Remember, the Palestinians are the children of those booted out of their homes by the Zionists/Israelis in the 1940s. That millions of Jews suffered a far worse fate at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis is no excuse for the treatment the Palestinians received.
        Israel therefore has a responsibility to seek peace. The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians want nothing less. The biggest problem is the extremists on both sides.

        • Jenny Keane

          As I understand it, Israel has guarenteed to keep Jerusalem ‘Open’ to all Religions who have connections with it. They recognise that it is a Holy place for many, have no wish to deprive any Religious from visiting their places of Worship?

  • ecclesiaman

    Nobody has noticed that we appear to be delaying signing up to PESCO, the EU unification army! We would have signed if some aware individuals had not ben flagging this up for years and Veterans For Britain advertised this on LBC with Nigel Farage. Signing up appears to be a formality some time soon, under the radar.Theresa and all political parties are selling us out. Please investigate and weep.

    • gunnerbear

      I’m not sure that a R&D operation designed to make EU member states defence budgets go further is actually an army. Mind you I suppose, “Ministers agree to spread R&D risk via PESCO” isn’t the sort of thing that grabs headlines. Oh, if you’re interested… http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/22/germany-is-quietly-building-a-european-army-under-its-command/ …not quite as dramatic a headline though is it.

      • NickIV

        I have learnt through bitter experience that what the EU says And what transpires is totally different.
        Of course it sounds nice to spread R & D risks.
        But what it means is that the EU wants it’s own army.
        The reason it wants it’s own army is to destroy the nation state.
        If you like the idea of the nation state being destroyed and an imperial empire ruling Britain, just say so, do not hide behind euphemisms.

        • Jenny Keane

          This EU Army will be used against the Peoples of Europe long before it is ever used against the Invaders. After 40+ years they suddenly decide they need an Army? We have Brexit, Poland, Hungary and other Countries are now kicking against the EU as well? It is obvious they are trying to protect themselves from ruination but, will Europeans kill other Europeans to protect Juncker & Co? I think not.

        • gunnerbear

          Eh? I want the UK out of the EU…if the EU HOGS get together and decide they want to integrate so be it….just that I tend to not to get hysterical when the word ‘EU’ is mentioned…especially as most of the EU members are also heavily committed to NATO…and trading with us.

      • ecclesiaman

        Signing up to PESCO which seems just a matter of time, will mean we are no longer able to defend ourselves and will effectively mean we will continue to be not a nation state. We will give our forces to the EU and pay for the privilege. This is a long term plan for decades and not necessarily German.
        What remains of our industries BAE, Rolls Royce etc, will wither on the vine and be snapped up by others. MOD policy is destroying UK products by buying foreign and scrapping/ selling ships and planes at knock down prices.
        The Russians think the new aircraft carrier is a target and Mr Hammond wants to reduce the army to 50,000.
        I would like my country back. That is what I voted for.

        • Jenny Keane

          After the comments made by Schulz today, saying that there WILL be a United State of Europe by 2025, that those who don’t like it can leave the EU like the UK, it is quite likely that the EU, if it survives this Federalisation plan, will be reduced to France, Germany and maybe a very few smaller Countries before too very long. I have come to the conclusion that the EU is absolutely desperate for money, which they spend like water. It is quite possible, given that they have not produced any Accounts for decades, that Brexit has caused them to actually look into their Financial situation? Their ‘Cash Cow’, leaving the herd is leaving them in a very unstable condition, quite of their own making, this surely gives us a great advantage in negotiations?

          We should just stick to the Florence offer, if not acceptable then we must walk away. Before Christmas would be ideal as it would give them a few weeks to reflect on their situation. I find it hard to believe that The Banks and Big Business cannot sort themselves out within the next 15 months, after all they have already had 18 months to make arrangements. When it’s their money they will find a way – money always does!

        • gunnerbear

          “What remains of our industries BAE, Rolls Royce etc, will wither on the vine and be snapped up by others.” Well, it’s a bit late for that now… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/alistair-osborne/9980292/Margaret-Thatcher-one-policy-that-led-to-more-than-50-companies-being-sold-or-privatised.html

      • ecclesiaman
        • gunnerbear

          Or in essence, the author is shilling for the likes of BAES to be given even more taxpayers cash to p**s away on T-45s that can’t operate in hot water. Hey, don’t forget though, the giant job creation scheme that is the A400M is also eating taxpayer cash at a prodigious rate. The entire article is a call for more cash to spent on defence….I’d rather have admired the author of the piece more if he had just said so. If you want to read something a bit more sensible… http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/breaking-cycle-perpetual-crisis-mod/

          • ecclesiaman

            I understand your not wanting to waste even more money. But perhaps you miss the fact that we will no longer be a sovereign nation. With todays news it becomes more obvious. The author/s of the article want what I believe most leavers voted for, a complete exit from the EU, and associated means to that end. What we have got is no real exit. Todays news is like the tower of Babel, utter confusion. Some people think it was treason to go into the EU and this latest “agreement?” appears to compound it.

          • gunnerbear

            Brexit has nothing to do with NATO.

          • ecclesiaman

            I have not mentioned NATO. It remains to be seen how the EU unified force actually works alongside NATO, if it does. In my mind you cannot have a brexit that actually means anything if we are signed up to PESCO. The article cited was a comprehensive overview of what has been happening over the decades and an attempt to wake up people to our dire situation as a country. We appear to be no more than a vassal region.

      • That’s a rational scheme, in my mind. Not all that different really than our putting USMC squadrons on HMS Queen Elizabeth occasionally, more filling gaps than a real merger. The hard part is at the nation-state level – trusting your forces to someone else’s command, this is the first time we ever have.

        • Partridge

          And will be used against us. Imagine a British army, under the command of the EU, being used to subjugate the British people.

        • gunnerbear

          Fair comment.

      • Tony in Southwark

        The fact is the EU members do not contribute a fraction to the defence of themselves collectively that the USA does for them.

  • Adam Smith

    Barnier has been a very effective negotiator because he is utterly ruthless, as indeed are Selmayr, Verhofstadt and Juncker. The idea that this was ever going to be an amicable parting was always a non-starter. These men know that their project is threatened by any outcome less than the complete humiliation of this country. The government will not make any headway against them at all until we stop the Mr Nice Guy nonsense and start playing hardball.

    That means announcing that we will no longer negotiate with Barnier and, if he is not replaced, walking away now and preparing for Brexit on WTO terms with Patterson and Redwood promoted to the Cabinet to oversee the process. Then, perhaps, the EU will begin to negotiate in good faith.

  • digitaurus

    You seem sad that Barnier is a totally uncompromising, unbending negotiator. That’s how the EC rolls in negotiations. Always has been and always will be. Ask the Greeks. This was blindingly obvious to anyone with half a brain on day one.

    • The Banana

      Indeed. Barnier is doing his job well. It’s the useless Tories who are not.

  • Graham Wood

    Have a look at – info@freenations.net
    I think Rodney Atkinson (see his Freenations site) is absolutely right and it is time that both May and Hammond were brought to account in the H of C. Both have lied, deceived, and been guilty of gross incompetence and brought us to this state of utter confusion as regards Brexit.
    It is little wonder that the EU Commission states that Britain does not know what it wants – but we do know only too well what 17.4 million Brits wanted in the referendum – to get out of the EU quicksand before we are swallowed up in their stinking mess.

    • Simon Platt

      We know what we want, alright! Independence! Freedom!

  • Tony in Southwark

    Any Deal that May Hammond get against the advice of the Brexiteer Miniters will be rejected by both Remoaners (“See, we might as well Remain, no better off”) an dLeavers (“Told you so”.
    The result shall be No Deal – so these two should clear off now as incapable.

  • Partridge

    From the first paragraph: ‘and the British government’s willingness to capitulate.’
    There, fixed it for you…

  • Putin’s Guardian’s Quitter

    In 1979 I joined Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, so if someone had told me a couple of years after that, that in 2017 I would despise a (alleged) Tory Government and those of our European ‘allies’ whilst simultaneously admiring the President of Russia I would have suggested that 1) You take less Class A substances, and 2) F@ck off and haunt someone else.
    However….