EU survival in jeopardy as Brussels struggles to recover from 2020 crises ‘Mask slipped’

Von Der Leyen's 'mask has slipped' says host

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The GB News presenter has said the “mask had slipped” for the European Union following multiple failures in 2020. Alex Phillips pointed out Ursula von der Leyen’s demands over the Astrazenca vaccine, Michel Barnier’s run for French President and Emmanuel Macron’s posturing over Brexit fishing rights as reasons for the bloc’s struggle for survival. She said: “Macron, rather posturing as Prince of the Empire, is getting his pantaloons in a twist over post Brexit fishing rights and talking tough in defence of the United States of Europe.

“While ex Brexit negotiator, Monsieur No Cherry Picking Michel Barnier, has rather mis des batons dans les roues by demanding French concessions from European law as part of his bid to run as Presidential candidate for the Republicans. You couldn’t make it up.

“Then, of course, there remains a rather bitter taste following the European Commission President’s antics over the Astra Zeneca vaccine, hardly an edifying moment as Ursula Von Der Leyen demanded the seizure of shipments- leaving Italy, even though they were intended for the developing world and tried to stop medicines going to Northern Ireland, before being heavily chastised and revoking the demand within mere hours.

“The mask somewhat slipped, leaving normally Europhile elements of the media shocked into silence.

“Yet how quickly was this shameful episode seemingly forgotten.

“Of course, I was a Brexit Party MEP. This is when I had the audacity to wave our national flag in the hemicycle, egged on by my colleagues, and was summarily smacked down for the offence.

“But before that, I worked for over a decade on leaving the EU having witnessed first hand its bullying behaviour towards Africa while I was working as a journalist in Ghana, so I am hardly impartial on this issue and have many a yarn to spin when it comes to dodgy dealings, corrupt goings on and strident opinions on the continental bloc.”

It comes as no breakthroughs have been announced following a meeting between Brexit minister Lord Frost and France’s Europe minister in a bid to calm a dispute over fishing.

A UK Government spokesperson said Lord Frost had met Europe minister Clement Beaune in Paris on Thursday.

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A statement released said “they discussed the range of difficulties arising from the application of the agreements between the UK and the EU”.

It said: “Both sides set out their positions and concerns.”

The Government said Lord Frost would meet European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic in Brussels on Thursday and he would speak to Mr Beaune again next week.

Meanwhile, on Twitter Mr Beaune said he had been happy to meet with Lord Frost to “relaunch the necessary dialogue and ensure the implementation of our agreements”.

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It comes after France threatened sanctions over what it perceives as a refusal to issue licences to its trawlers to operate in UK waters.

The UK Government has insisted the overwhelming majority of applications for licences have been granted.

French president Emmanuel Macron delayed the imposition of punitive measures while talks between the UK, France and the European Commission take place.

The French government has insisted the measures – which could include a ban on British trawlers landing their catches in French ports and tighter customs checks to hamper cross-Channel trade – remain “on the table” if a deal cannot be reached.

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