Nigel Farage has expressed his concerns the UK will remain tied to punishing EU rules if trade agreement is eventually struck.
Speaking to Brexit Watch, Farage said: My fear is a deal gets done [and] it gets presented as a victory — but actually, we find ourselves with Brexit, but still too closely tied to EU rules.”
The Brexit hero’s comments follow dramatic late demands from the EU that the UK must remain in the hated Common Fisheries Policy for another ten years. The last minute changes to Brussels’ mandate threaten to derail talks. The existing transition arrangement expires at the end of this month.
Farage has been a powerful and loyal supporter of Britain’s fisheries sector, which has virtually collapsed since Britain joined the common market in the 1970s. However, The former UKIP leader offered a chink of light to French fishermen who have seen their business increase at Britain’s expense during those intervening decades:
“We voted to get away from foreign bureaucrats offering us crumbs from the table,” said Farage, adding: “It’s the British that make these decisions; we can afford to be generous to the French.”
It is the French who are widely viewed as driving these new demands. And according to various sources, part of President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy is to force a No Deal. The belief in Paris is that Britain would come back, cap in hand in 2021 begging for any deal going.
“France’s stance is to show that Brexit cannot be a success. From that point of view, the prospect of no deal is not necessarily a problem,” a political source told the Telegraph.
A No Deal scenario would be just fine with Mr Brexit himself: “If we are not free to make our own legislation in every area of our commercial life in this country, then it’s not a proper Brexit”