Hopefully, these efforts will pay off next week when national leaders decide whether to open talks on trade and a transition period. It is time to get down to business.
The run-up to the European Council meetings next week could decide the future of the negotiations.
I believe that there will be a growing clamour for any deal to be put by referendum to the British people before the final decision is taken.
Already, the EU is demanding discussion of certain trade matters which, according to its repeated statements, should not be brought up until the next phase of talks.
Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling apparently believe that the UK has not made ‘sufficient progress’ on Brussels’ check-list.
By reminding us that the EU status quo isn’t on the table, Juncker has done us a favour. Now May must set out her own stall.
The Chancellor has not always been well treated by his neighbour, and deserves support over public spending. But he has mishandled his internal position over Brexit.
EU leaders care less about the result than many in Britain think. They are used to leading minority governments, and just want to get on with the talks.
Tusk’s statement last week responding to Article 50 struck the right tone. It was measured, matter of fact and avoided confrontation.
“No deal means no winners – everybody will lose.”
Whatever the outcome, MPs and peers must be able to have their say in the lobbies.
Juncker has presented MEPs with five options, but the responses show how hard Brussels politicians will find it to change their attitudes.
Without that difference, Brexit would not have happened.
Parliamentary sovereignty has become fashionable among Europhiles who used to consider it barbaric.
Meanwhile, shock, anger, sorrow and denial over the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU has been replaced by a more business-like approach.