The EU’s bullying of the UK is likely only to strengthen British resolve to Leave

The EU’s bullying of the UK is likely only to strengthen British resolve to Leave

In recent weeks, the question of when a coup is not a coup has been very much in the news. But when is a negotiation not a negotiation? Currently, Brexit negotiations have been characterised in the media and by the EU itself as tough divorce discussions. Superficially, this interpretation bares muster. Just as in a matrimonial split, there is indeed a lot at stake and conflicting priorities.

In particular, the remaining members can doubtfully afford the EU’s imperial largesse with the dwindling member contributions. The EU family needs British taxpayers’ money to live as they have become accustomed. Or as eurosceptics would say – to keep the gravy flowing. The Commission seems superficially willing to trade market access in return for British taxpayers’ cash. However, what is actually going on now is nothing more than a sinister power play.

Just when Messrs Juncker and Barnier were starting to lose the battle of public opinion over their tactic of demanding taxpayers’ money up front, a new ultimatum has been forged. But the mask has slipped over the EU’s impossible Irish border demand. It is transparently clear that this isn’t hardball negotiation; it’s a coup. A naked attempt to destabilise the British Government’s DUP coalition and precipitate either a leadership election, a Corbyn government or potentially both!

This isn’t a new tactic from the EU – just as when previous referendums haven’t gone the EU’s way. They are piling on the pressure to make the British people change their minds. Some British Remainers clearly think this is a smart tactic. You’ll doubtless hear them clinking glasses together in trendy north London bars as they toast the impending collapse of the British Government.

However, step outside the big smoke and the mood is very different. A eurosceptic country has coalesced over the referendum result. Many Remain voters were reluctant at best and the non-emergence of the George Osborne Brexit disaster movie has tipped many into the Leave camp. They just want the Government to get on with it. The British general election was not, as many seem to think in the Remain bubble or the EU, a rejection of Brexit; after all, Labour were very careful to stress they agreed with the will of the British people. If anything, it was a rejection of an attempt by a government to bounce the British public into re-electing it with a super-majority by deploying the most shambolic election campaign in modern British history.

This only serves to emphasise not only that the EU has never understood the UK, but also that it is paying too much heed to well-known Remainers and the London media bubble. If they think that humiliating Theresa May and David Davis will force the Conservatives into changing their leadership, precipitate a general election or even result in a Remain government led by Nick Clegg, they are in for a shock.

As with this year’s election, the one thing that the British people dislike above everything else is being bounced into a decision by the ‘establishment’ – either here or abroad. If the Commission’s aim is to firm up support for Brexit, then they are going the right way about it.

With the Irish border question, Juncker’s Brussels junta has seriously overreached itself. What makes the Irish border ploy so crass is that you only have to glance back at the history of the 20th century to realise that the last time a government tried to force Ireland into accepting a constitutional settlement against the will of large portion of its population, it did not end well. Presumably most current EU commissioners have never heard of Carson and their knowledge of Irish politics begins and ends with having once seen the Hollywood biopic Michael Collins.

If the EU persists with its “Brexit coup” strategy, the only outcomes will be a strengthened British resolve to Leave, a destabilised peace process, a bigger bill for German taxpayers and ultimately a disorderly Brexit.