Brexit: France or Italy will leave next says Charles-Henri Gallois
Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers said conservative EU capitals are missing the influence and sensibility of London on the Brussels decision-making process. He warned that Britain’s departure from the bloc had strengthened the positions of fanatics intent on creating a full-blown European superstate. In an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Weimers cited the creation of the EU’s €750billion recovery fund as an example of conservative-minded member states losing the argument without the help of the UK.
His native Sweden, including Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands, were members of the so-called “Frugal Four” of nations that pushed back against plans to hand Brussels the power to create a joint debt fund to bail out regions and industries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
On their failed fight, Mr Weimers said: “The UK would’ve led it!
“The UK departure has hurt our influence at the top table in Brussels.
“Without the UK, Sweden must be more proactive. And, that has not been the case with our government, which was the first of the Frugals to cave during the budget negotiations.”
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During its 47 years of EU membership, Britain provided the balance that prevented France and Germany exerting their influence over the rest of the bloc.
Mr Weimers now believes the powerful capitals will use the so-called Conference on the Future of Europe to create more centralised powers in Brussels.
He expects them to use the event as a “back door” to overhaul the EU’s current treaty to make the bloc “even bigger” than it is now.
On the EU’s future development, Mr Weimers said: “Realistically, it will be as now but even bigger, even more centralised.
“I think we’ll get an early indication where we will be in 10 year’s time during the Conference on the Future of Europe.”
And he warned the European Parliament would sit by idly instead of challenging the EU’s creation of a “superstate”.
“The European Parliament in a normal democracy would aim to limit the power of the executive,” The Swedish MEP said.
Mr Weimers has predicted the EU overhaul will be pushed through despite growing levels of anti-Brussels sentiment.
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He said euroscepticism would continue to flourish while the bloc attempts to exploit the pandemic to secure extra powers.
Mr Weimers said the “vaccine fiasco” orchestrated by Brussels has prompted a rise in Euroscepticism in his native country.
But he added that citizens in other member states, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, are also considering the value of the bloc as Britain’s vaccine scheme races ahead of the EU.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has taken personal charge of the roll-out of Covid jabs across the bloc.
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He said: “Ursula von der Leyen famously said this was Europe’s moment. And I have to agree this is Europe’s moment of embarrassment.
“Mrs von der Leyen has been hiding for most of this week and it seems no one in the Commission have got a grip on the situation. Departments are passing the buck, blaming each other, while she is focusing on damage control.
“What this crisis shows is that the EU never lets a good crisis go to waste – this is true for the pandemic and shows the EU is not up for the job.”
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