Britain left the EU on January 31, putting an end to almost 50 years of eurosceptic frustration. Now, the two sides are trying to negotiate a free trade agreement before the end of the transition period on December 31. However, after the latest round of talks, the chief negotiators from both the UK and the EU have warned that a post-Brexit trade deal is looking increasingly unlikely.
Speaking during his regular press conference, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said: “Too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards.
“Today, at this stage, an agreement between the EU and UK seems unlikely. I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time.”
Sticking points include the so-called “level-playing field” – to ensure businesses on one side do not have an unfair advantage over the other – and fishing rules.
As the clock ticks down and tensions rise, unearthed reports shed light on the years that preceded Brexit day, characterised by a debilitating political period that bitterly divided the nation, with many parliamentarians and politicians trying to ignore the will of the people.
George Soros’ secret plan to THWART Brexit unmasked: ‘It’s not too late!’
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier
One of these people was the Hungarian-born currency speculator George Soros.
According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, Mr Soros was one of the three senior figures linked to the Remain-supporting campaign group Best for Britain, who in 2018 was planning to launch a nationwide advertising campaign, hoping it would have led to a second referendum to keep Britain in the EU.
The campaign was trying to recruit major Tory donors in a bid to undermine former Prime Minister Theresa May.
It also planned to target MPs and convince them to vote against the final Brexit deal to trigger another referendum or general election, according to a strategy document leaked from a meeting of the group.
Britain left the EU on January 31
Hungarian-born currency speculator George Soros
The document said the campaign had to “wake the country up and assert that Brexit was not a done deal. That it wasn’t too late to stop Brexit”.
It added that a series of Momentum-style mass rallies and concerts were planned and the campaign would have had a “heavy youth focus”.
The memo also revealed a plan to “pressure” MPs in 100 Leave-supporting constituencies, and set out how organisers had “a range of guerrilla marketing tactics” to build momentum.
Mr Soros’s involvement emerged after he hosted six Conservative donors at his Chelsea house.
His involvement came more than 25 years after he made over £1billion betting against the pound shortly before the UK withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1982.
More recently he has been accused of organising rallies against US President Donald Trump in the US and interfering in the democracies of several European nations.
At the dinner he hosted were Stephen Peel, a businessman; Lord Malloch-Brown, the former Labour minister and chairman of Best for Britain; and Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of the advertising firm WPP.
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According to the report, a select group of Tory donors were also hosted by Mr Soros, who had donated £400,000 to Best for Britain through his Open Society Foundation.
The donors were told that the group’s goal was “to raise public support for Remain to a clear and growing national majority by June/July 2018 and channelling that pressure into MPs’ mailbags and surgeries”.
However, sources at Mr Soros’ house said the message fell flat and the donors left without pledging any money.
The campaign organisers had previously spoken of their desire for the UK to remain in the EU.
Mr Soros said in 2017 that Brexit was a “lose-lose proposition”, and Mr Peel had set out his vision for how Brexit could have been overturned by gathering public support with concerts and rallies.
Neither Mr Soros nor Mr Peel responded to questions about their involvement in the campaign or dinner.