- Business Insider spoke to Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister and author of Adults in the Room: My battle against Europe's deep establishment.
- Varoufakis said Theresa May misinterpreted the Brexit referendum's result and was wrong to think she could negotiate with the European Union.
- He says the best option is now for Britain to file an application for a Norway-style deal with the EU during a five-year transitional period.
Full transcript below.
Yanis Varoufakis: Theresa May made two gross errors. The first one was immediately after the Brexit referendum; she interpreted the verdict of the British people as a verdict in favour of xenophobia, of ending freedom of movement, when the sensible interpretation would have been that it was an attempt to restore sovereignty to the British parliament.
The second error was to imagine that she was going to negotiate with the European Union. The European Union does not negotiate unless it is forced to, because the European Union’s greatest nightmare is a mutually advantageous agreement between Britain and the European Union.
They are only concerned with one thing: How to signal to the rest of Europe that anyone who votes in a government or who votes in a referendum in a manner which challenges the authority of the deep establishment in Europe will get crushed.
The only way Britain can salvage the wreckage that is coming out of the Article 50 process is for Mrs May to do the right thing – by Britain and by Europe – to stop these negotiations and simply file an application for a Norway-style agreement for a period of at least five years after the two-year Article 50 process is over, to give certainty to business, certainty to citizens, and in an important sense, to honour the strongest argument in favour of Brexit, which is the restoration of sovereignty to the House of Commons.
Because only if you give the House of Commons a period of six, seven years of stability will the members of parliament have the opportunity to debate amongst themselves what kind of arrangements they want between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
- Crowd at Davos boos after Trump attacks media as 'fake'
- How mindfulness helps this top congressman stay calm in DC
- President Trump tells Theresa May not to believe the 'false rumour' that he doesn't 'have great respect for everything you're doing'