A leaked email from the European Parliament confirms what many of us have suspected for some time: there is a palpable level of collusion between the British political class and the EU to stop Brexit.
The email in question was sent yesterday by an SNP MEP called Alyn Smith to all 751 MEPs who sit in the parliament. In it, Smyth pushed for “an extension of the Article 50 timetable”.
Smith’s missive, signed by 13 other British MEPs, stated: “Despite our political differences, as U.K. MEPs we are united around one fact: if you wish to allow the U.K. to remain within our EU family, then all ways to do so will necessitate an extension of the Article 50 timetable. Whilst we acknowledge that many details of the next few months remain unclear, it is in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and respect that we ask you, our European friends, to start thinking about this possibility and be ready for this eventuality.”
The intention is clear. Smith and his colleagues are rampantly keen for the remaining 27 EU nations to lobby their national governments to suspend the legal process by which Britain is on course to pull out of the EU project.
German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel replied to Smith’s rallying cry almost immediately.
Henkel wrote: “I support everything which would avoid a Brexit, including anything which could delay it. Let me advise you that I have talked to both President Juncker and to Chancellor Kurz (Austrian Leader) about our initiative.
Today 14 British MEPs sent a round robin email to the EU Parliament asking MEPs to lobby their governments to extend Article 50. They also said the UK gov would possibly collapse and that the Tories would go back on their promises after Brexit. 1/
As is often the way, this lead to a reply all bonanza to all 751 MEPs and their many assistants. Here is Brexit-friendly German MEP Hans Olaf-Henkel. He says Juncker and Austrian chancellor Kurz told him Article 50 would be extended no problem if needed. 2/
He added: “As a bye-product [sic] I achieved an unofficial agreement from the first and an official agreement from the latter for an extension of Art. 50 if Britain needs it.”
I know Mr Henkel. He is the former boss of the Federation of German Industry, Germany’s equivalent of the CBI. Indeed, I well remember a private conversation I had with him recently.
I am not in the habit of divulging what has been said to me in private, but under the circumstances the public interest in revealing the mindset of an influential EU player like Henkel is overwhelming. His attitude simply has to be known as widely as possible.
Henkel asked me what Britain would do if it secured Brexit.
I told him: “We will become a free-trading nation, of course, and become more competitive.”
Unable to contain his horror, he replied: “But you can’t do that! Otherwise, we’ll have to leave the EU, too.”
The fact is that Henkel, and scores of other EU politicians, are terrified of the democratically-obtained commercial advantage which a clean Brexit would achieve for the UK.
There is not only a genuine fear within the EU about how successful Britain could be post-Brexit. There is also an almost pathological desire among Continental politicians like Henkel not to deviate from the socialist market and its rigid rules.
Henkel’s email proves that he is hell-bent on maintaining the status quo, even if that means sticking two fingers up at the 17.4 million people in Britain who voted Leave.
In effect Smyth, and the 13 British MEPs who showed utter contempt for their own people in signing his letter, are conspiring with the Germans to make sure Britain cannot become competitive after Brexit.
This is exactly what the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier wanted – and what the British government has been trying to avoid – from Day One.
It is important to add that the Smith-Henkel email exchange only represents what we know. But I am bound to ask, how much similar activity has there been below the radar? What was the despised Tony Blair doing in Brussels yesterday? And what has his friend, the shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, been doing there today? Whatever they may claim, I believe both of these Labour politicians visited the Belgian capital in a bid to help their EU friends find a way to defy the will of the British electorate.
Below is a list of the 13 UK MEPs who signed Smith’s repellent email. I believe it is vital that every one of them is identified so that the public knows how they have behaved.
- Catherine Bearder MEP (ALDE)
- Seb Dance MEP (S&D)
- Jill Evans MEP (Greens/EFA)
- John Howarth MEP (S&D)
- Wajid Khan MEP (S&D)
- Jude Kirton-Darling MEP (S&D)
- Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA)
- Clare Moody MEP (S&D)
- Molly Scott-Cato MEP (Greens/EFA)
- Catherine Stihler MEP (S&D)
- Charles Tannock MEP (ECR)
- Derek Vaughan MEP (S&D)
- Julie Ward MEP (S&D)
If any member of this group believes that they have acted in Britain’s true post-Brexit interests by involving themselves in this abysmal scheme, or that they respect the will of the British people, they should see no problem in being named in this way.
I think their intention is to derail Article 50. I call that a collusion against democracy. And I believe they should all hang their heads in shame.