Who, exactly, is refusing to renegotiate Brexit – BoJob or the EU? And why are the Tories complaining?

Does anybody know what’s going on?

On one hand:

Boris Johnson has no intention of renegotiating the withdrawal agreement and a no-deal Brexit is his “central scenario”, European diplomats have been told, amid hardening evidence in Westminster that the government is expecting to crash out of the EU.

And on the other:

Cabinet minister Michael Gove says the EU “seem to be refusing to negotiate with the UK” over a new Brexit deal.

Mr Gove, who is responsible for no-deal planning, said he was “deeply saddened” that Brussels was, in his words, saying “no, we don’t want to talk.”

It’s entirely possible that both claims are correct.

If so, Mr Gove has no reason to complain; the EU27 are simply complying with what his prime minister wants.

But it would also indicate that the UK is on course to crash out of the EU with no deal, no matter what happens – and Parliament is against that.

Constitutional crisis over the autumn, anyone?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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  1. Chris O'Donovan August 6, 2019 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Gove is claiming they are refusing to talk, a euphemism for refusing to compromise; but there is no sign that the Tories are prepared to compromise. One assumes May’s red lines are still firmly in place, they are not open for negotiation. Hence, we have a stalemate.
    Gove is just trying to pin the blame on the EU to win the Brexit vote at a GE.

  2. Zippi August 6, 2019 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    As I’ve said, before and the indicative vote showed, Parliament doesn’t want anything. The Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected, thrice, in historic defeats so, it needs to be renegotiated. Both the Tànaiste and another chap, who was on the B.B.C., today, said that the Backstop will most likely never have to be used. That, to me, sounds like a starting point. I have also said that, whether the U.K. wants to leave the E.U. now, or in 50 years time, this is an issue that needs to be addressed, because any member of the E.U. should be able to leave it, if it so chooses.
    I don’t believe that Mr. Johnson WANTS us to leave without a deal but ANY deal won’t do. Negotiation is about trying to get what you want from the other party without having to concede anything. Inevitably, there will be trade offs but that all depends on how badly each side wants what the other has to offer versus what they are prepared to concede. Theresa May, it seems, conceded things very quickly; Boris Johnson is not going to repeat that, which is possibly why he appears to be so much harder. The other thing to remember is that Article 50 has only been extended by the gift of the E.U. so, time is not on our side, as it might have been, before.

    • Mike Sivier August 7, 2019 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Johnson isn’t hard; he simply isn’t interested. He’ll go out on ‘no deal’ because he reckons he can make some cash out of it. You won’t, and neither will I, but he doesn’t care about you or me.

      As for the NI border backstop – let’s just see what happens after we leave, shall we?

      • Zippi August 8, 2019 at 12:13 am - Reply

        I didn’t say that he WAS hard, just that he appears to be. Things might have been different had the he 2 years that Theresa May had. We shall never know.
        Re: the Irish border Backstop; I think that both sides need to stop saying “no” and discuss what “never have to be used” means in practice and work to that end.

  3. Gary August 7, 2019 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Both are correct but equally both are lying. Neither side has any interest in renegotiating anything.

    The EU have managed to hold their unity thus far and any reopening of negotiations may not have full support. For that reason and also for how they look to other countries they wish to negotiate, they wish to be seen as taking a tough stance and draw a line in the sand.

    Boris has, of course, said UK is leaving on 31st October with or without a deal. Even if negotiations had already started there would be no time to complete them before that date. He wants us to negotiate from the outside.

    BUT there is ONE thing that he has said that IS correct. Now that there has been a change of the leaders within the EU they really SHOULD ask the question of the EU countries of whether they STILL wish to hold firm on their position or whether they want to start talking.

    Boris has been specifically voted in by his party’s members for his utter stupidity. ANY other sensible leader would hesitate to take UK out with no deal. Only Boris with his vagueness, arrogance, crassness and the kind of boldness that comes only with stupidity would DARE do anything like this. 99% confidence 1% talent.

    Although despite his words I doubt he will actually do it. It’s very different in the driver’s seat after all…

  4. nmac064 August 7, 2019 at 8:25 am - Reply

    These nasty clowns need to be held to account for the corrupt and thoroughly dishonest way they have treated the British public. Unfortunately, like the rest of us, many working class Leave voters will suffer so that the greedy selfish wealthy can have tax cuts.

  5. Martin Odoni August 7, 2019 at 10:39 am - Reply

    If the UK Government wants to renegotiate, it has to remove the arbitrary, jingoistic ‘red lines’ Theresa May put up.

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