The BBC’s latest Brexit documentary shows the contempt in which the EU negotiators hold us
“Frankly speaking, just between the two of us, there’s no justification in discussing the future relationship between the EU and UK in combination with their debts. I’ll tell them tomorrow quite brutally, calmly but clearly, that this is not negotiable.”
Then, following a meeting at No. 10 in the early stages of the process, Guy Verhofstadt speaks openly in the back of a cab: “They’re going nowhere. They are stuck.” They knew from the beginning that all they had to do was exploit the obvious differences that existed at Westminster, to divide and conquer, and the Brexit train could be derailed.
At the first full meeting of the Steering Committee they are seen celebrating, toasting each other with red wine, and joyfully concluding “We are together for two years – yeah. And then the transition period for another three years. At least!” That first meeting set the tone and the agenda for the EU negotiators. They were in no hurry. Delay as long as possible, get the negotiations bogged down in process and conduct a plan of attrition. The debate in Britain would become more fractious and the people of this country would tire of the whole affair.
Did the EU team believe in the early days of the negotiation that the tide would turn perhaps in Britain and we the people would turn on our politicians and begin to question the result of the 2016 referendum? The whole tone and content of this TV programme suggested that this was their intent and purpose.
What surprises me is that the programme was shown at all, and at this crucial time. This was not a revelation of secret material that had come to light five years after Brexit, it was a frank and open declaration of exactly what the EU negotiators think of us now. There is no attempt to hide the disdain they have for our negotiators or our politicians – perhaps because they were unaware that they were being filmed. And they have the nerve to flaunt their views on national television.
The programme ends with two of the EU team revelling in what had been achieved and saying about the UK people, “We got rid of them. We kicked them out. We finally turned them into a colony, and that was our plan from the first moment.”
We don’t need any further evidence. Every MP who is trying to block Brexit should read these words, watch this programme and realise who, and what, it is they are determined to keep us shackled to.
It’s a pity the BBC relegated the programme to BBC4 and didn’t have the courage to show it on BBC1.