A European Commissioner said leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage “like to see themselves as the Three Musketeers. They are more like the Three Stooges.”
Phil Hogan, the agriculture commissioner, said Brussels would not allow the EU to be weakened “just to save the U.K. from the consequences of its own silliness.” He also warned Prime Minister Theresa May there would be no Brexit deal next March if she insisted on sticking to her Chequers proposal, the Guardian reported.
Speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in County Wexford, Hogan said: “The EU’s first offer, reflexively rejected, was a significant departure from our internal market policy. And it was meant for Northern Ireland only. It was that Northern Ireland could remain in the single market with the EU27.”
However, instead of accepting that offer, the U.K.’s reply was: “‘Let’s restrict the single market to goods and generalize it for the whole U.K.’ The EU’s answer has already been given: No.”
He added that “if the U.K. attitude is Chequers and only Chequers, there will be no agreement before March next year on the future trade relationship.”
He also had harsh words for the Brexiteers.
“Don’t be misguided by those extremists riding the wrecking ball and calling for the EU’s disappearance. Don’t be misled by the rhetoric of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Farage and Mr. Rees-Mogg. They like to see themselves as the Three Musketeers. They are more like the Three Stooges,” the Irish commissioner said.
“For an agreement to take place, the issue [of the Irish border] needs to be, as Michel Barnier said, de-dramatized. The invisible border is essential for peace – don’t listen to the Three Stooges, they don’t know the first thing about it.
“In trade terms, maintaining the invisible border will be good for the U.K., good for Northern Ireland, good for Ireland, and good for the EU. Dialing down the rhetoric would allow these incontrovertible facts to come to the fore.”