‘I think I’d better leave now’ Theresa May said to EU leaders when they refused to discuss Brexit



*Theresa May said ‘I think I’d better leave now’ to other EU leaders, to break an embarrassing silence when they refused to discuss Brexit in front of her.

A witness said the Prime Minister made the remark after trying to push for a quick agreement on the future rights of British citizens in the EU, and vice-versa, at the Brussels summit.

It led to an awkward impasse, because the rest of the EU has demanded the right to exclude Britain when they discuss their side of the Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May warned £50bn ‘Brexit bill’ will be ‘one of first issues’
They have also insisted there will be “no negotiations without notification” – meaning they must await the triggering of the Article 50 exit clause, at the start of next year.

“It was a difficult moment for diplomatic etiquette,” one leader’s aide told The Times newspaper.

“‘I think I’d better leave now,’ she said. She was very polite, but it was a bit embarrassing,” he added.

The episode came after footage, when Ms May arrived in Brussels, showed her standing isolated and alone while other leaders greeted each other warmly.

The other 27 leaders were due to hold an “informal” discussion without Ms May, to discuss their approach to the Brexit talks – with, she said, her blessing.*

Wow, these EU leaders seem petty and immature. Are they adults or elementary school children?


Brexit is probably the single biggest event in 2016. It may very well mean yet another rearrangement of Europe. I can see ministers not wanting the UK in any strategy meetings on how to handle the fire ranging in their midst.


What is the 50 billion pound ‘Brexit bill’?


The sum is believed to include the obligation for the UK to pay into the EU Budget until the end of 2020, as well as pensions liabilities and payments linked to loan guarantees.

Separately, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have also both acknowledged that the UK could make payments to Brussels for “access” to Europe’s markets.


Once you create a bureaucracy made up of full time bureaucrats it is almost impossible to get out from under it.


Or rather, once you’ve profitted handsomely from a certain economic arrangement fostered by a supranational framework of regulations, it is almost impossible to find an alternative that works better.

And so even when you leave, you still need to contribute to reap some of the erstwhile benefits.

Truly, Britain could do OK outside of the EU but only if it remains in the EEA. A Britain in the single market but bereft of its representation at the top table of EU institutions would be less powerful a player in global politics but it would be economically feasible and we could continue much as we have done in terms of trade. The Brexiteers would no longer live in a Member State of the EU. For Remainers, the economic advantages of the EU and a somewhat closer relationship would still be retained. I could accept that, even as an ardent Remainer, as a comprise outcome that reflects the highly polarized nature of UK politics (split almost 50/50 by this mother of all issues).

Of course, that requires freedom of movement to be maintained, so its currently a seemingly controversial and disdained option by our government. We shall see what transpires in the New Year.

I am hopeful that Britain will remain in the EEA even after leaving the EU. That would go a long way to re-uniting our fractured country.

Why can’t people compromise anymore? Has pragmatism in the interests of goodwill been entirely abandoned to ideology?


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