A French MEP tore into Brussels bosses as “cold EU technocrats” who don’t understand the drive behind Brexit. Jérôme Rivière told the European Parliament that Britain was heading in the “right direction” by pursuing Brexit and leaving the EU. Mr Rivière singled out EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for criticism, claiming his Frenchman “embodied the condescending and cold approach” of Brussels.
The MEP was speaking during a Brexit debate at the European Parliament in Brussels after EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier updated MEPs about the current trade talks between Brussels and the United Kingdom.
He said: “A people has chosen to leave the EU – it is a reality, and there will be no transition delay.
“When the people rule, they can choose their path. That is true for Boris Johnson, who is not going back on his word.
“Those that said London would have problems over Brexit have been proved wrong.”
JUST IN: Boris refuses EU coronavirus cash – despite UK taxpayers paying in
Mr Rivière continued: “Instead, it is the EU that is worrying about competition in all areas in the UK throwing off its chains.
“All problems won’t be resolved by a magic Brexit wand and France isn’t the UK but this is the right direction.
“This is a country not submitting to others, a friend of Europe. We should strive to be an Europe of nations, rather than an EU of cold condescending technocrats so well embodied by Michel Barnier.”
The French MEP has served as a member of the National Rally, previously known as the National Front, since 2017.
This week, Michel Barnier said his team was willing to find “landing zones” for all the areas in dispute.
But he also warned: “We are ready to work on operational and clever compromise but not at the price, never at the price, of any unravelling of the single market. Never.”
Mr Barnier added that “the ball was in the UK’s court,” demanding Boris Johnson compromise on his red lines.
However, Britain’s negotiator David Frost suggested it was for Brussels to compromise, adding that “some of the EU’s unrealistic positions will have to change if we are to move forward”.
He tweeted: “UK sovereignty, over our laws, our courts, or our fishing waters, is of course not up for discussion.”