Brexit: Grieve asked by host about 'wounds' of UK leaving the EU
The arch-Remainer was confronted by Sky News Naill Paterson who reminded Mr Grieve plenty of Brexiteers have been calling for him to “move away from the public stage” as a Brexit deal is finally being signed by Boris Johnson and EU negotiators. Mr Paterson said: “Is this the point at which the wounds caused by Brexit can start to be healed? I ask the question because, and I’m sure you will have seen on social media yourself today and on previous days, the number of people with Brexit supporting slogans in their biographies suggesting you need to suck up, dry your eyes and move away from the public stage, there are a fair few around this morning.”
But the former Tory MP replied: “They may say so but I dried my eyes a long time ago.
“I sought to do what I thought was best for my country and I’m getting on with my life.
“These people will make or mar. They have succeeded in getting a majority in 2016 to pursue a policy which I think is counterproductive and mistaken.
“In 10 years time people will say they were right or people will say they were wrong.
“They will compare the wellbeing of people in the United Kingdom with the wellbeing of people in the European continent and they will come to a conclusion as to whether we did the right thing or not.”
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Negotiations on a UK-European Union trade deal are continuing amid widespread expectation an agreement is imminent.
Talks in Brussels were focused on the details of fishing rights but both sides have indicated a Christmas Eve deal will be announced, bringing an end to months of wrangling just a week before current trading arrangements expire.
Boris Johnson has been in close contact with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in recent days as top-level efforts intensified to get a deal over the line.
The pair were expected to use a call on Christmas Eve to agree the deal.
The EU and Downing Street were poised to announce a deal on Wednesday night but that slipped as last-minute wrangling continued.
Negotiations continued through the night, fuelled by a late delivery of pizzas.
On Thursday morning a UK source said “they’re still going on fish” – the issue which has been one of the major stumbling blocks in the path to a deal.
Brexit: Hilary Benn says he doesn't give Johnson any credit
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE Radio there had been “some sort of last-minute hitch” over the small print of the fisheries agreement but deal was still expected later.
Reports have suggested the UK has offered a deal where it will take back the right to land 25 percent of what the EU currently takes from British waters, phased in over five-and-a-half years.
As the battle to spin the situation began, French sources reportedly claimed the UK had made “huge concessions”, especially on fisheries – a symbolically important issue on both sides of the Channel.
A deal covering the UK-EU trading relationship worth almost £670 billion will come as a relief to business leaders.
If, as expected, it provides for trade free from tariffs and quotas the economic shock of breaking away from the EU’s single market and customs union will be softened.
But there will be an increase in bureaucracy as a result of leaving the EU’s trading regime.
At last we have got something to cheer about, says LEO McKINSTRY [COMMENT]
Brexit: Britain headed for new golden era as PM clinches agreement [ANALYSIS]
Pound to euro price: Sterling rockets as Boris set to secure deal [DATA]
Any deal Mr Johnson secures is likely to pass through Parliament with Labour expected not to oppose it – Sir Keir Starmer has stressed that an agreement with the EU would be in the national interest.
Hilary Benn, the Labour chairman of the Commons Future Relationship with the EU Committee, told the BBC he had “no doubt” Parliament would back it because “the alternative is no-deal and that really doesn’t bear contemplation”.
But in a sign of the political difficulties Mr Johnson may face, the European Research Group (ERG) of hardline pro-Brexit Tory MPs said they would scrutinise any deal in great detail.
The ERG said it would reconvene its so-called “star chamber” of legal experts to examine the text.
A statement issued by the group on Wednesday said: “Given that the new agreement is also highly complex, the star chamber will scrutinise it in detail, to ensure that its provisions genuinely protect the sovereignty of the United Kingdom after we exit the transition period at the end of this year.”
Source: Read Full Article