Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has pointed out that comments made by President of France, Emmanuel Macron indicate that all the wrong lessons are being learned from the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Mr Macron addressed MEPs in Strasbourg today to outline his vision of the “future of Europe”.
Jim Nicholson MEP said:
“As the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, it is understandable that leaders of the 27 remaining Member States have a debate on the future of Europe. However, the Europe that President Macron envisages will sit uncomfortably with citizens across the continent.
“Increasingly we see that Brexit is being used to promote deeper EU integration - an elected EU President, a European finance minister, even an EU army. This may not be surprising, given the fact that the United Kingdom has historically been a leading voice in Europe against this kind of centralisation, but it shows that all the wrong lessons are being learned from the Brexit vote.
“Not all remaining Member States will be happy with this direction. In particular, I imagine the Republic of Ireland Government will be concerned that Macron and other EU heads of Government have been trying to go after the Republic’s low corporation tax rate.
“The United Kingdom will of course continue to work with our friends and allies in France and across Europe after we leave the EU, and in particular we do not want to see any diminution of our current cooperation on issues of security.”