France: MEP says there’s ‘still problems on the borders’
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Pierre Karleskind, a leading French MEP, was left red-faced after his prediction of a Brexit economic catastrophe for the UK was called out on live TV. France24 host Catherine Nicholson disputed his claim that Brexit “is a catastrophe for the British economy”. She pointed out that UK exports to the EU had dipped in January but the export levels have “already recovered”.
Mr Karleskind is a senior figure in the Brexit tensions, as a leading ally of French President Emmanuel Macron and a President of the European Parlianet’s Fisheries Commitee.
Ms Nicholson said: “At the moment, it sounds like a lot of animosity from the EU.
“Is this a temporary phase of both sides trying to show they are serious? Can we expect this relationship to improve? Is legal action really the right path to take?”
The Renew Europe MEP responded: “For five years, I’ve tried to find a rationality in the UK government’s decisions and I can’t find any!”
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He continued: “They perfectly knows that Brexit is a catastrophe for the British economy. This will lead to a drop in their GDP.
“It is already leading to a drop in their exports to the European Union – a drop of 70 percent of exports in the first month of this year.”
Ms Nicholson then intervened: “But that has recovered, the export level.”
Scrambling to respond, the French MEP said: “Well that is good news. But it is still a catastrophe. You still have problems on the borders.
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“Boris Johnson has to find someone to blame and as usual his favourite person to blame for everything going bad in the UK is the European Union.
“This is unacceptable. We won’t accept that.”
Also on the programme, German MEP Gunnar Beck picked apart his French counterpart’s claims.
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He said: “I think catastrophe is a strong word! People have talked about a catastrophe ever since Brexit happened and it’s simply not happened.
“It hasn’t happened after the referendum and it didn’t have after the negotiations.”
Earlier this morning, Mr Macron warned Boris Johnson not to break the terms of the Brexit deal in a tense meeting at the G7.
The French President also offered to reset relations with the UK after a breakdown in trust between the two sides.
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