‘No success!’ Jayne Adye points out key flaw in the Liz Truss Brexit talks with EU
Mark Dolan slams European Parliament over Brexit claims
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Progress on Brexit negotiations had stalled prior to much of the UK’s diplomatic attention focusing on the unfolding war in Ukraine. But part of this was the Foreign Secretary’s absenteeism at high-level talks throughout her tenure, according to Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign group.
Ms Adye said that even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine diverted the Foreign Secretary’s attention, Ms Truss had already taken her foot off the pedal with Brexit negotiations.
She said: “Even prior to the Ukraine crisis escalating, Liz Truss had only met with her opposite number in the negotiations, the EU Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, five times.
“Every single meeting resulted in next to no movement and they have not met for a single time since the crisis began.
“So instead of having elected officials in the room for the other meetings held for the rest of the time, we are instead left to be represented by unelected civil servants in these negotiations, the majority of whom have never backed Brexit in the first place.
“In this scenario, how can we expect any success in achieving what we voted for in the EU Referendum in 2016?”
She then extended her criticism to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding the “seriousness” of the Brexit issue had not compelled the Tory leader to tackle it as he should.
She said: “Despite the seriousness of this issue, and the long-term impact it could have on the make-up of the United Kingdom, it seems the Prime Minister no longer wishes to discuss Brexit, preferring to keep the public distracted by his good work on Ukraine, and his unfunded commitments on Net Zero.”
Ms Adye also criticised Ms Truss for avoiding giving straight answers to questions over whether the UK would commit to a new defence treaty, re-evaluating Britain’s defence policy following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Facing the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee last week, Ms Truss dodged probes from MPs over tightened security arrangements with the EU.
She said there would, however, be “strengthened architecture” between the UK and Brussels as a result of the Ukraine war.
But Ms Adye called Ms Truss’s refusal to reject closer cooperation with the bloc as one which makes “a mockery of the UK’s independence from the EU”.
She commented that the “EU is free to be as misguided as they want” without UK involvement, but Ms Truss’s evasiveness on future defence collaboration was “worrying”.
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She said: “Such a deal would not only make a mockery of the UK’s independence from the EU, but it would severely undermine NATO and effectively bind the UK into any EU army or foreign policy decision.
“The Prime Minister – quite rightly – rejected such a deal back in 2020 and must not reverse this decision or we can be certain the UK will never be free from the EU or able to make our own decisions on the world stage.
“This would be the exact opposite of so-called ‘Global Britain’.”
Speaking this week, the Foreign Secretary said it was imperative that the West was “united” against the aggression of the Russian president, and the countries of the EU and NATO had to “work together” in their policy over the Ukraine crisis.
She said: “What I am talking about is much closer working between the EU with NATO and with broader allies as well as us strengthening our additional relationships.”
She added: “I would say the key part of the conversation is between the EU and NATO.
“I think that is the important way in which this is being done.
“We’re seeing very rapid changes across the EU, I’ve talked about Germany’s changes to its defence policy.”
She continued on to say that the Russian invasion was “a sudden change which has shaken the whole security architecture of the West.”
She commented: “We will need over the coming months to ensure we have a strengthened architecture in place for the future.
“The UK is a core part of that as the largest defence spender in Europe, we are a core part of making that happen.”
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