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18 September 2018

The craven excuse made by Michael Gove to explain his failure to resign from the cabinet over Chequers – namely that a better deal could be struck with the EU down the line – is in tatters this morning after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier confirmed that the government’s eventual deal with the European Union will be binding and will not be open to later renegotiation.

Gove spoke on the Andrew Marr show this weekend and claimed that Chequers was simply the “right [deal] for now”, indicating once again that he saw it as a mere stopgap before achieving true independence down the line.

But Bariner’s deputy Sabine Weyand said that “it would be possible that the EU accepted painful compromises to avoid a failure and then the UK would want to continue negotiating because suddenly it’s possible again”. The call was echoed by pro-EU French president Emmanuel Macron, who also wants any deal to be binding.

It comes as the EU’s negotiating strategy becomes clearer, with one Brussels diplomat telling the Guardian that “the UK needs to have a ‘darkest hour’ moment before they will shift position. But they will have to shift their position.”

They are of course preying on the weakness of current UK leadership, sensing that Remain campaigner Theresa May is petrified of the idea of a No Deal Brexit – or, put more accurately, a clean WTO Brexit that puts us back in control of our own national destiny.

All the more reason to dump Chequers, ditch Theresa May, and get a new patriotic Tory prime minister who actually supports Brexit and has an optimistic vision for the future of our country…

But despite Brussels’ stubbornness, even the most hardcore Remoaners can’t act on their insincere pessimism about Brexit. RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary has been one of the most outspoken critics of Brexit, even threatening to stop flights after our departure from the EU. But his firm is now expanding its UK operations with 23 new routes planned from next summer. It seems Brexit isn’t going to be as bad as he predicted…