FOLLOWING Boris Johnson’s “historic” election victory, Conservative Leader Geoffrey Van Orden CBE welcomed positive remarks from Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and chief negotiator Barnier.
The leader of Britain’s Conservative MEPs told the European Parliament the scale of the Prime Minister’s triumph amounted to a huge vote of confidence and a mandate to get Brexit done. It was also a rejection of the command socialism offered by Labour.
The East of England MEP, who held one-to-one talks with Mrl Barnier yesterday, expressed the hope that the EU institutions would no longer be taken in by the sight of a few people waving blue flags and would cease listening to past political leaders coming to Brussels to peddle false messages to what became an echo chamber of self-delusion.
He said: “I trust also that none here will try to invent obstacles or to refight a battle whose outcome has already very clearly been decided.”
“The UK and the EU now need to move ahead quickly in developing that ‘ambitious, broad, flexible partnership with a comprehensive free trade agreement at its core and many other areas of cooperation’ so that we can together build a new partnership of friends and sovereign equals in tackling the great threats and challenges that affect us all.
“This is the great project for 2020 fuelled by the warmth expressed by the British Prime Minister for the other nations of Europe.
“It is in all our interests now to expedite the Withdrawal Agreement – it will be voted on this week in the House of Commons – so that we can leave without further difficulty on 31January.
“Provided there is efficiency, good faith, and good will we can make rapid progress with negotiations on our future relationship so that a good Free Trade Agreement and other arrangements can come into force by the end of 2020. This must be our joint aim.
“I know that Michel Barnier approaches his task with this positive spirit and is ready to do all that is necessary to meet the timelines. I trust that this House will be helpful in this process.”