Written by Jacob Jaffa |
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has claimed that a Brexit deal between the UK and EU is near completion. Junker set out his speculative timetable for Brexit completion in a series of interviews with a trio of Austrian newspapers, in which he also heavily criticised David Cameron, the Brexit vote and, seemingly, the British people.
Juncker suggested that he is certain a Brexit deal will be done in the coming weeks. Stating that, while “it cannot be foreseen whether we will finish in October”, it is his belief that if a deal is not agreed this month the negotiators will “do it in November”. He also ruled out the idea of a no deal Brexit, musing that it “would not be good for the UK”.
“It is [Junker’s] belief that if a deal is not agreed this month the negotiators will “do it in November”.”
However, Juncker’s message was not all positive, with the senior EU official seemingly taking aim at the British government in a number of ways. First in his crosshairs was Cameron’s government, who had (perhaps reasonably) requested that the commission not interfere in the referendum process. Juncker shot this decision down with the claim that, “if the commission intervened, perhaps the right questions would have entered the debate”.
Next to fall under fire was the British press, who, he claimed, “do not respect the human rights of political actors at all”, though he did not expand with any examples to support this claim. Finally, Juncker seemed to take a swipe at the British for having a referendum in the first place, referring to it as the “pitiful vote of the British”.
“However, this sentiment was seemingly not echoed by Irish PM Leo Varadkar, who said that there is still “a fair bit of work to be done”.”
Other European big shots to weigh in this week include European Council President Donald Tusk, who claimed that an “accord” should be reached by the end of the year. However, this sentiment was seemingly not echoed by Irish PM Leo Varadkar, who said that there is still “a fair bit of work to be done”.
The British government was also cautious about confirming any claims, stating that the EU was trying to pressure Britain into making a deal quickly. With the most recent snag of the Brexit negotiations yesterday being the Irish Border, it remains to be seen whether Junker’s prophecies materialise.