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23rd Nov 2018

WATCH: ‘Theresa May is opting for a pointless Brexit,’ claims Professor in withering assessment of Britain’s options

Paul Moore

Brexit means Brexit.

In terms of the most recent developments on Brexit, EU officials are meeting to finalise the deal and address last-minute demands from Spain for a say on future decisions about Gibraltar.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has stated his opposition to the deal, which is expected to be signed off by member states on Sunday.

No single member state has the power to veto the deal, but Brussels wants unanimous approval and Prime Minister Theresa May has said a deal is “within our grasp”.

Of course, Irish citizens will have some sympathy with our Spanish counterparts because when it comes to dealing with a shared border in Brexit negotiations, we’re all too familiar with the frustrations that surround discussions of this ilk.

Having experienced a litany of baffling statements from the likes of Boris Johnson, David Davis, Nigel Farage, and Jacob Rees-Mogg about the border in Ireland, it’s extremely welcoming to hear someone speak intelligently and articulately on the topic of Brexit.

On this note, Professor Ronan McCrea, Professor of Constitutional and European Law at UCL Laws, spoke to Sky News in the wake of the Brexit deal, and it’s well worth a look.

The interview actually took place last week but it has since gone viral and UCL LAWS have just shared the video on their own YouTube account.

When asked if Brexit will become a reality or not, Professor McCrea said: “Well, I think the basic outline of the deals, or the potential deals, has been clear from the start. Either the UK retains access to the Single Market – which means following the EU rules, this makes Brexit a bit pointless – or it has its own rules, leaves and faces terrible economic disruption.

“Theresa May seems to be opting for something more like the pointless Brexit because she’s terrified of the economic disruption and that’s a choice. There really isn’t a third way. That has been clear from the start. The EU is a system of rules, and if you want to participate in the Single Market, you have to follow those rules.”

“The EU is quite a rigid institution. It can’t give Britain a cherry-picked option where they get somehow to participate in the Single Market but have their own rules. The Single Market is a package deal. Everyone in it hates bits of it but they put up with it because the overall deal is worth it. If Britain was allowed to take the bits they like, every state would want to do that too. The EU is never going to give that. A cherry-picking deal is actually more of a threat to the EU than no deal.”

Professor McCrea states that when it comes to negotiations, the EU will always retain the stronger hand.

“The EU is less desperate for a deal than the UK is. The EU can afford a no deal, although places like Ireland will be affected but Britain can’t afford a no deal. Once negotiations started, all the potential talk was done on the EU terms. Not because the EU is bad, but because when something six-times the size of something else goes into discussions, the bigger party always get their way. That’s the nature of negotiations and Brexit was always going to be like that,” he states.

Take a look at the conversation in full below.

Clip via CL LAWS