Daniel Hannan MEP: ‘No serious self-respecting democracy’ can agree to the backstop

Daniel Hannan MEP: ‘No serious self-respecting democracy’ can agree to the backstop

Protesters outside the House of Parliament on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP for the south east England has said that “no serious self-respecting democracy” would agree to the Irish backstop.

The Prime Minister is set to return to negotiations with the European Union as MPs voted in favour of a motion to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements”.

He told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “We have gone about the negotiations in a spectacularly inept way. We have made concession after concession in the hope that Brussels would respond by being nice.

“Of course they have just pocketed every one – the money, the sequencing, the Irish backstop. The one thing we cannot swallow is a permanent Irish backstop because unlike EU membership itself, where at least there was an exit clause – what is now on the table is something that we would not be allowed to leave.

“It is something where we would be required to surrender part of our country and it is something that would allow Brussels to continue to control our trade with third countries after we have left.

“No serious self-respecting democracy can agree with that.”


'Anti-British undertone' 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiatior Michel Barnier during a session of Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. 

Following the vote in favour of replacing the backstop, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs in Brussels that they rejected the possibility of renegotiations.

Mr Hannan described the undertone of the debate as “anti-British”.

“I was in the chamber listening to the sneering, belittling and the anti-British undertone,” he said.

“I thought it was becoming increasingly clear that we are dealing with people who don’t want a good outcome.

“They would rather see all sides suffer than see Britain succeed.”

He added: “We are dealing with people in Brussels who are just so angry about Brexit. They regard it as blasphemy against closer union.

“Their mood is punitive. We need to be seen to have suffered for blaspheming against the product.”