I didn’t gain a 1st class degree in political science or a PhD in European affairs. However, I have to state that I am quite pessimistic. A significant element of the Tory Party has been pushing for a hard Brexit to fulfil their dream of a de-regulated UK and the privatisation of the welfare state on all fronts. The EU has said that the deal on the table is the only one to accept. Fine. But seen in the context of the European Parliament elections next year and the rise of the extreme right and anti-EU parties, it could be that the EU will say (as they have been doing), get on with it or crash out, they have prepared for such an eventuality. This would be a lesson to others who have signed up to a whole range of agreements and treaties and who think that these can easily be undone. For those who believe in a strong and united Europe, May’s behaviour is doing us a great favour. Whatever happens, combined with a long history of opt-outs, the UK can never be a trusted partner again. I am convinced that the experience of the past two-plus years has reinforced the opinion among the many Member States that the EU will be better off without the UK, an opinion that has also been articulated last week by Norway an EFTA member. I am not any way suggesting that the EU negotiators are being vindictive; they have followed the rules. It’s the UK that has made a fool of themselves and, I would argue, for ulterior motives that I set out above.