Nigel Farage tore into “arrogant and intransigent” Eurocrats refusing to budge from their demand to include a backstop in the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The architect of Brexit warned the European Union their failure to meet Britain in the middle could result in the “British public becoming more angry” because of the delay in negotiations. Brussels has this week harshly rejected calls to reopen talks with Theresa May after MPs gave the Prime Minister a mandate to negotiate further to secure an agreement before March 29 that does not include a backstop clause.
Speaking to Euronews on Thursday, Mr Farage said: “Arrogance, intransigence, no shift and no give from Brussels at all.
“I hope I’m wrong but I just think these people, particularly the Junckers and the Barniers, the unelected European Commission, are bigger, stronger, more powerful than national governments and the electorates.”
He added: “I suspect what you are going to get is the British public becoming even more angry about the way these negotiations are being handled.”
Theresa May on Tuesday won the support of the Commons thanks to an amendment to her Brexit divorce deal granting her power to return to Brussels for a new round of talks ahead of the March withdrawal deadline.
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But European Commission president Juncker has warned European heads of state to “prepare for the worst” as he suggested the parliamentary vote “further increased the risk of a disorderly Brexit.”
Addressing members of the European Parliament in Brussels, Mr Juncker said: “The agreement remains the best and only deal possible. The EU said so in November, we said so in December, we said so after the first meaningful vote in January.
“The debate and votes in the House of Commons yesterday don’t change that. The agreement will not be renegotiated.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier accused the Prime Minister of exploiting the amendment tabled by Sir Graham Brady to take “distance from an agreement she herself negotiated.”
Mr Barnier warned MPs had demanded “alternative arrangements which were never actually defined” and “rejected a no-deal scenario without clarifying what means they would take to avoid that.”
But in a sign of growing splits among EU leaders over Brexit, Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki called on his European counterparts to pull together in a collective effort to try to solve the standoff between Brussels and London.
Mr Morawiecki said: “Together, with the participation of all EU countries, we should try to prevent a hard Brexit.”
His remarks were welcomed by Downing Street last night as Mrs May’s spokesman said: “There is a genuine determination across Europe that the UK should leave with a deal but we now need to work together in order to achieve a deal that can carry the support of the House of Commons.”
The Prime Minister is next week expected to put forward alternative proposals to replace the controversial backstop mechanism to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Whitehall sources said she will hold more talks with MPs over the next few days about the proposals she will make to the EU next week.
Mrs May is also set to hold a conference call with Cabinet ministers on Monday to sign off the negotiating offer.