Brexit: Dutch MEP slams 'boring' EU since UK and Farage exit
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With the UK having left the EU, Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink warned France would now capitalise on the power vacuum in the bloc without Britain’s presence. In a bold warning, the MEP stated France has also always seen the EU as an extension of itself and will now have a greater influence. Speaking to Express.co.uk, he also expressed his concern for states such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden who relied on the UK’s support.
He said: “The France strategy has also been to increase its power through the EU and get Germany to work for it.
“They regard Germany as the horse they want to ride.
“And that’s the core relationship between France and Germany.
“It has always been like this but now the British are gone, France will see it as a time to implement that plan.
“They’re using EU institutions to do this, in particular the European Commission which has always been an extension of Paris.”
With the UK, states such as the Netherlands had formed a group of members which were usually against increased spending in the bloc.
Due to Britain’s influence, the smaller member states were able to have a strong ally to stand up to increased proposals from states such as France.
Looking ahead to the bloc’s long-term future, Mr Eppink claimed France will now push for a more federal state without the UK.
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That is in contrast to smaller states who would push for a system whereby there is a common market but overall, the power lies with member states and national governments.
Outside of the internal relations within the EU, Brussels and London have been locked in a bitter row since the turn of the year.
There have been several issues over trade in Northern Ireland following Brexit due to the added customs checks.
In a move to try and ease trade, the UK decided to take out unilateral action to extend the grace period for goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
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After being rejected by the EU, the UK has now moved to extend the period until October.
This, however, sparked anger on the continent with Brussels accusing the UK of violating the Brexit deal.
Amid this backlash, the EU Parliament decided to postpone the ratification of the trade deal with the UK.
The deal had been given provisional application before the turn of the year ahead of the vote to formally approve the agreement.
In a tweet referencing part of a previous parliamentary resolution, MEP Bernd Lange said: “Still valid: ‘Should the UK authorities breach – or threaten to breach – the withdrawal agreement, through the United Kingdom internal market bill or in any other way, the European parliament will, under no circumstances, ratify any agreement between the EU and the UK’.”
The UK had given MEPs until late April to agree the deal after the request of an extension from the EU.
However, the EU has now accused the UK of breaking the agreement twice which has destroyed trust between the two sides.
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