European Union member states are looking forward to Brexit as they will be able to pursue their plans for further unification of the bloc without obstacles, he claimed. While the details of the future relationship between the UK and the EU remain unclear, the British Government has insisted the country will leave on March 29 as agreed nearly two years ago. American author Chris Dickey suggested that despite attempts to maintain a close link with Britain after Brexit, EU countries “are not sorry” to see the UK leave.
Speaking to France 24, Mr Dickey said: “I think for a long time it’s been obvious that a large part of the European establishment is not so sorry to see Britain go.
“Britain always had one foot in, one foot out. It wanted to make the rules but it didn’t want to abide by all the rules. It basically was playing this game that systematically weakened the efforts to unify the European Union.”
The author and Daily Beast foreign editor also issued a scathing assessment of the British Government’s handling of the withdrawal negotiations as Theresa May seeks to snatch further concessions from the bloc to win the support of MPs for her withdrawal agreement.
He continued: “They’ve come down to the crunch, as the March 29 deadline approaches, and the Brits can’t make up their mind what they want to do.
“They couldn’t make up their mind when they were in the European Union, now they can’t make up their mind how to get out of the European Union. The Government looks completely feckless and that was the impression everybody has there.
“At the end of the day Tusk – it may have been provocative wording – but, in fact, it’s the way a hell of a lot of people feel in Europe.”
Mr Dickey was referring to a jibe European Council President Donald Tusk made during a press conference in Brussels in which he appeared to suggest Brexiteers would be reserved “a special place in Hell” for allegedly failing to come up with a plan for a smooth withdrawal.
With no sign of a revamped Brexit deal to put to Parliament, Theresa May is expected to table a sparsely-worded Government motion asking the Commons to note her progress that will be open to amendments from backbenchers
Mrs May travelled to Brussels on Thursday to speak with senior EU chiefs including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Mr Tusk.
Following the meetings, she insisted she had held “robust discussions” before claiming Brexit would be delivered “on time”.
The Prime Minister said: “What I have set out is our clear position that we must secure legally binding changes to the Withdrawal Agreement to deal with concerns that Parliament has over the backstop.
“Taking that changes to the backstop, together with the other work we are doing on workers rights and other issues, will deliver a stable majority in Parliament.
“That is what I will continue to push for. It is not going to be easy, but crucially, President Juncker and I have agreed that talks will now start to find a way through this to find a way to get this over the line, and to deliver on the concerns that Parliament has, so we get a majority in Parliament.”
Mrs May also travelled to Dublin on Friday to meet with Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to discuss the Irish backstop in an effort to overcome the Brexit stalemate.