European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave his final state of the Union Address on Wednesday. His speech was critical of Theresa May’s Brexit plan, and of European populists like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.
He made clear that Theresa May’s Brexit plan is still unacceptable to the European Union and this may have inadvertently pushed Britain closed to a full hard exit.
It is difficult to understand exactly what Junker’s real position on Brexit is as he mixed clear warnings that the plan was not acceptable together with friendly overtures supporting it although he did point out it would not be compatible with EU negotiating redlines.
He said that the core idea behind May’s Brexit plan, remaining a member of the Single Market for goods, was not acceptable “…we also ask the British government to understand that someone who leaves the Union cannot be in the same privileged position as a member state. “If you leave the Union, you are of course no longer part of our Single Market, and certainly not only in the parts of it you choose.” Juncker’s remarks were met with applause in the chamber.
His remarks echoed the comments of Michel Barnier, the EU chief of Brexit negotiations, who has already said Britain would not be permitted to “cherrypick” membership elements.
The British Democrats agree with Jean-Claude Juncker and Michael Barnier in that as the UK is leaving the EU we can no longer expect to participate in the ‘EU Single Market’ and certainly not in those parts of the single market we wish to cherry pick.
We trust the EU will stick by their guns and reject Theresa May’s Brexit plan and any other ‘fudge she may come up with. The UK has been trading within the EU Single Market at a huge annual deficit (£77Bn) for several years and it does not therefore make economic sense to continue to do so.