So much for friends in Europe! Fury as French newspaper says Boris ‘bullying’ EU citizens

EU 'using Northern Ireland to undo Brexit' says Sammy Wilson

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The French daily Le Monde sparked the outrage of Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois when it published an editorial accusing Brexit Britain of “bullying” EU citizens on grounds of xenophobia. The newspaper’s comment, titled “Brexit: Boris Johnson uses xenophobia between Europeans”, denounced the new UK’s immigration rules for EU citizens coming to Britain without a residency permit or a work visa.

It read: “The experience of Europeans in the United Kingdom is a concrete illustration of the immense regression that Brexit represents. The European Union has no reason to be intimidated by such manoeuvres or to allow its citizens to be bullied.

“It must not accept that the UK visa tax differs, as it does, between EU countries.

“Nor let a pernicious ‘local xenophobia’ be exploited which sends Europe back to its old demons.”

The shocking claims infuriated Mr Gallois, who took to Twitter to defend the UK’s position.

He blasted: “Another ridiculous paper!

“They barely refused a few dozen residence permits to EU citizens that were already there.

“For new requests, they make immigration chosen with the same criteria whether one comes from the European Union or not.

“It’s the privilege of the European Union that was xenophobic.”

He continued: “Resuming border and immigration control is possible thanks to Brexit.

“Selective immigration was a Boris Johnson campaign promise. We understand that our dear media are not used to keeping promises.”

The row comes as the UK and the EU continue to lock horns on the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Mr Johnson has suggested the European Union is taking an “excessively burdensome” approach to post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister, who signed the Brexit divorce deal which included the Northern Ireland Protocol, insisted he was not trying to back out of the agreement.

DON’T MISS:
‘Excessively burdensome!’ Boris Johnson bemoans EU’s approach to trade [INSIGHT]
Brexit victory as trade deal ‘precursor’ struck with Biden [ANALYSIS]
Pound euro exchange rate falls amid post-Brexit ‘tensions’ [DATA]

But he said the UK’s “internal market” had to be respected and “we just need to make it work”.

The EU has threatened to launch a trade war against Britain if it fails to implement checks on goods entering Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit “divorce” settlement which Mr Johnson signed.

The prospect of a “sausage war” trade dispute came after Brexit minister Lord Frost refused to rule out the possibility the UK could unilaterally delay imposing checks on British-made chilled meats which are due to come into force at the end of the month.

The Protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the European single market in order to avoid a hard border with Ireland, meaning a trade barrier in the Irish Sea for goods crossing from Great Britain.

Mr Johnson, who will hold talks with EU leaders over the course of the G7 summit, told the BBC: “You will understand that there are ways of enforcing the protocol, ways of making it work, that may be excessively burdensome.

“I just give you one statistic: 20 percent of the checks conducted across the whole of the perimeter of the EU are now done in Northern Ireland, three times as many as happen in Rotterdam.”

The new post-Brexit arrangements came into effect on January 1 and the dispute is still simmering, but Mr Johnson insisted: “I think we can sort it out.”

The Brexit dispute has inflamed tensions for unionists in Northern Ireland, who dislike barriers with Great Britain.

At a press conference ahead of the G7 summit, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen insisted the Protocol is the “only solution” to prevent a hard border with the Republic and must be implemented in full.

She said: “We have shown flexibility, we will show flexibility, but the Protocol and the (Brexit) Withdrawal Agreement have to be implemented completely.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also warned the Brexit deal could not be renegotiated.

Source: Read Full Article