EU’s arrogant riling of Brexiteers and failure to keep UK in Europe is ‘dark stain’ - MEP

Express

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28 June 2019, 04:01

Hans-Olaf Henkel, 79, who joined the European Parliament in 2014, blasted 750 MEPs for failing on “one incredibly important task”. The former president of the Federation of German Industries accused the MEPs of “slavishly following Verhofstadt, Juncker and Barnier” instead of doing their best to keep Britain inside the European Union. Mr Henkel has previously criticised Guy Verhofstadt, the EU Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, for riling up Brexiteers and doing little to halt Britain’s divorce.

In a Parliament-wide email, seen by Express.co.uk, Mr Henkel said: “Parliament should have itself acted to offer a new deal for Britain.“It should have supported British Remainers to gain momentum and help the Brexit Brexiteers to save face on what is now a tragic lose-lose situation.”The German MEP declared that after Brexit, the Parliament will lose its “most talented” members.He concluded: “Having been a part of this Parliament at the time Britain decided to leave the EU is not a feather in our cap.

“It is a dark stain in the accomplishments of the European Parliament in its eighth term.”The European Parliament welcomes its next set of MEPs next week in Strasbourg, including British representatives who will remain in place until the country quits the EU.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is also expected to remain in post if Britain doesn’t leave or quits the bloc without a deal on October 31.The former Luxembourg prime minister is meant to step down as the EU’s most senior official on the same day as Britain’s scheduled departure date.

But the chief eurocrat may remain in the role until as late as June next year to provide stability and limit the chaos of no deal.A European minister told the Times: “If Juncker goes on time, it would mean the first day of a new European Commission would be coping with no-deal Brexit, an earthquake, a mess and a huge negotiation.“If the British government insisted on making a no-deal happen on October 31, there is nothing we can do about it. The only date we can change is the end of Juncker’s mandate. It would be too tricky to have no-deal, the most pressing negotiation in our history and the commission handover at the same time.”Mr Juncker would have to remain in post as a caretaker, limiting his control over policymaking.

Instead, he would just oversee the day-to-day running of the bloc.Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson has pledged to leave the EU on October 31 – with or without a deal – if he wins the keys to Number 10.Mr Johnson has hinted he will sack Remainer Cabinet members Amber Rudd, David Lidington, David Gauke and Rory Stewart unless they supported his no deal plans.He told the Conservative Home website: “Clearly people must be reconciled to the very, very, very small possibility – and I stress it will be a very, very small possibility – that we would have to leave on those terms.

“I don’t think it will happen but they would have to be reconciled to it.”In a hustings, Mr Johnson claimed the odds for a no-deal Brexit would be a “million-to-one against”.Jeremy Hunt has urged his leadership rival to “be straight with people” about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.In a letter, the Foreign Secretary wrote: “We must be careful to face the facts as we find them.“Will you be straight with people that no deal means no implementation period?"

At a hustings in Bournemouth yesterday, Mr Johnson criticised Mr Hunt’s claim that Brexit could be delayed beyond the October 31 deadline.Mr Johnson said: “Anybody who proposes any further delay is simply going to end up eroding trust in politics, eroding people's confidence in our democratic institutions further.“And further weakening out great Conservative Party and our mission to lead this country."And it simply won't work. Kick the can again and we kick the bucket, my friends, that's the sad reality."

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