Ashley Fox on Brexit and why the ‘No-Deal’ scenario is the most likely outcome.
As per a report by The Observer which cites a leaked e-mail, the head of the Northern Irish party whose support is instrumental to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, May is “ready” to trigger a no-deal Brexit and regards that as the “likeliest outcome”.
The Observer reported Arlene Foster telling Ashley Fox, the leader of Conservative Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) as saying, she had a “hostile and difficult” exchange at her meeting with Michel Barnier this week.
Barnier is the one leading the European Union’s negotiating team.
“AF said the DUP were ready for a no deal scenario, which she now believed was the likeliest one,” reads the email, whose sender or recipient were not revealed by The Observer. It said, it was one of several emails “leaked from the highest levels of government” that it had come across.
DUP’s spokesman declined to comment any further.
In an article on Belfast Telegraph Foster had written on Saturday, she prefers a no-Brexit deal to a bad deal; she also described current plans as amounting to “the annexation of Northern Ireland” by the EU.
“I fully appreciate the risks of a ‘no deal’ (Brexit) but the dangers of a bad deal are worse,” wrote Foster in the Belfast Telegraph article. “This backstop arrangement would not be temporary. It would be the permanent annexation of Northern Ireland away from the rest of the United Kingdom and forever leave us subject to rules made in a place where we have no say”.
Britain is intent on keeping any ‘backstop’ arrangement to be time-bound since Eurosceptics within May’s ruling Conservative Party fear that it could be used to indefinitely keep the country inside a customs union with the EU. The EU has opposed to UK’s move to stick to a specific cut-off date.
“This is no game. Anyone engaging in this in a light-hearted way foolishly fails to grasp the gravity of the decisions we will make in the coming weeks,” said Foster. “The coming days, weeks and months will be critical. The decisions taken will shape the type of Northern Ireland that our grandchildren will live in.”
She went on to add, she is looking forward to a workable deal for both – the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and would be traveling to Dublin for talks on Monday.