Belfast Telegraph

'Silly' hardliners ruining any chance of Brexit deal: Hogan

By David Hughes

The "silly behaviour" of Tory politicians means there will be no agreement on the nature of post-Brexit trading arrangements before the UK's exit from the EU, the Republic's European commissioner has said.

In a strongly worded intervention, Phil Hogan stressed that Theresa May's red lines meant the only option available was a Canada-style trade deal, and that if her government remained fixed on the Chequers plan, there would be no breakthrough by March next year.

Mr Hogan, the Republic's representative on Jean-Claude Juncker's European Commission, branded Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage the "three stooges" and suggested they did not understand the Irish border issue.

In a speech at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Co Wexford, Mr Hogan said: "More than two years after the referendum, the UK remains in a pickle.

"And by pickle, I mean that the UK is trapped in a recurring cycle of silly behaviour."

"(On every occasion Mrs May has come up with a position to negotiate with Brussels) the factions in her own party will have none of it".

"Mr Johnson and Mr Rees-Mogg say, in effect, 'Prime Minister, you must negotiate Brexit with us'.

"This is leading to absurdist politics. We will not damage the EU's great achievement of the internal market just to save the UK from the consequences of its own silliness."

Belfast Telegraph

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