Two leading Brexiters went to Berlin this weekend to woo German businesses in the hope of undercutting Angela Merkel’s hostility to Brexit.
But the trip did not go anywhere near as well as they hoped.
Leading it were the Tory MP headbanger Owen Paterson (pictured) and John Longworth, co-chair of Leave Means Leave.
They came to Berlin to try and get German businesses to lobby Merkel to give Britain a better deal during Brexit negotiations.
Instead they were subjected to sniggers, rolling eyes and sarcastic laughs.
A BBC journalist reports:
The laughter from the audience quickly turned to sniggers as they heard the UK described as “a beacon of open, free trade around the world”. […]
When Europe was blamed for spending cuts and a lack of British health care provision, there were audible mutters of irritation from the audience.
The occasional light-hearted attempts at EU-bashing – usually guaranteed to get a cheap laugh with some British audiences – was met with stony silence. […]
When the audience was asked how many of them welcomed Brexit, only one hand went up – and it turned out that belonged to a businessman who wanted more EU reform and was fed up with Britain slowing things down.
This isn’t surprising at all.
In fact, as Political Scrapbook has repeatedly pointed out, German firms aren’t dreading Brexit like many the newspapers here think.
In fact they would rather protect the EU Single Market.
Why? Because the EU is a far bigger market than the UK, and preserving the EU makes more sense to them, financially and politically.
Paterson and Longworth’s shock at how they were treated shows how delusional they were