In his latest scathing attack on the UK following its leave from the European Union, MICHEL BARNIER claimed that Brexit was always going to damage the country.
This week, the EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator visited London, which is home to 250,000 French nationals, to campaign for votes in his bid to unseat Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential race next year.
However, the fact that the UK no longer has a direct role in the EU hasn’t stopped Michel Barnier from taking yet another savage dig at the UK over Brexit as he waded into the rising fuel shortage crisis sweeping the country.
Due to a severe scarcity of HGV drivers, fuel deliveries to UK gas stations have been disrupted, throwing customers into a panic buying frenzy.
During an interview with the German daily newspaper WELT, Mr Barnier was asked if the current fuel issue and panic purchasing is a result of Brexit.
“It’s partly because of the exit from the EU, yes,” he answered.
“The free movement of people has ended, and trade barriers and goods controls have occurred at the same time.”
“I have repeatedly declared such consequences publicly since the end of 2016.”
“But the pandemic is also a reason for this crisis.”
The Frenchman was then asked if he would “help Boris Johnson when he asks for relief in such situations” if he became President, to which he claimed “I will become President.”
“There are always technological possibilities, common approaches to simplify processes,” he warned, taking another savage shot at Brexit Britain.
“But when doing so, the rules of the EU internal market must be respected.” “Food security”
“The taxes to be levied, for example when goods from China go to the EU via Great Britain.”
“And the protection of our economy from trade of counterfeit products.”
“The reason President Xi and President Biden respect Europe is because of our internal market – which is much more than a market.”
“The British never really got that.”
Mr. Barnier was also questioned about the present post-Brexit commercial arrangements in Northern Ireland, which has resulted in heightened tensions between the UK and the EU over how those rules should be enforced. The Northern Ireland Protocol was included in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit divorce agreement with the EU. The UK wants substantial portions of the process to be completely reformed, but the EU is reluctant to renegotiate it.
“The Protocol is clearly having a continued negative effect on everyday life and business in Northern Ireland,” UK Brexit minister Lord Frost tweeted earlier this month.
“The outstanding issues now need to be dealt with urgently.”
Mr. Barnier was questioned about commercial concerns in Northern Ireland and whether the British are attempting to “drain the EU.”
“If you read my book, you will see that I always negotiated calmly and with respect,” he responded.
“The UK needs to be careful,” the Frenchman said.
“Because peace in Northern Ireland is at stake again.”
“And the British must show responsibility to us too, so that we can trust them and build new relationships.”