Brexit LIVE: Fury as Donald Tusk ORDERS Britain to follow EU move – even Verofstadt erupts

China: UK need to ‘stand up’ to ‘bullying’ says Lord Patten

The former European Council President was a key figure during the negotiations on a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, frequently criticising Britain’s negotiating stance and often mocking then-Prime Minister Theresa May. But now Mr Tusk is urging the UK to come to the EU’s aide and help fight back against China over the draconian security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year. He wrote on Twitter: “The EU and UK should react together to the Chinese repressions in Hong Kong.

“Let us show that despite Brexit, we are still a community when it comes to universal rights.”

But many Twitter users immediately highlighted to Mr Tusk how the EU recently agreed a lucrative investment deal with China, which appears to have been rushed through after Brexit.

One said: “These are empty words lacking action.

“The EU literally just signed an investment deal with China.

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“Xi sat beaming in a video call with Merkel, Macron, von der Leyen…making the EU complicit in the global complacency in dealing with the CCPs abuse of democracy and human rights.”

Another wrote: “Wasn’t there a “special place in hell” for us? Didn’t the EU (but not parly) just agree a deal with China?

“@guyverhofstadt what do you reckon, pass the deal with China or not?”

Even staunch EU supporter and MEP Guy Verhofstadt lashed out at Brussels for striking the investment deal with China, appealing for the European Parliament to veto the agreement.

He tweeted: “Is this the time to be cutting deals with China? I think it shows geopolitical naivite instead of geostrategic autonomy.

“Thankfully, unlike China, the EU is a democracy & the @Europarl will have the final say!”

8.22am update: Chaos as EU’s ‘bungling bureaucracy’ blamed for ‘delays’ to Covid vaccine roll out

The Editor of Germany’s best-selling newspaper has claimed “bungling bureaucracy” and “in-fighting” among EU leaders is behind the slow rollout of their Covid-19 vaccine programmes.

Alexander Von Schoenburg, Bild’s editor-at-large, has said the UK’s European neighbours are “looking across the Channel with envy”.

In a colourful comment piece for the Daily Mail, Mr Schoenburg suggests the EU “machine” is “sclerotic and sluggish”.

His remarks come as a bitter battle rages in Germany over the coronavirus vaccination programme involving contenders to succeed Angela Merkel in September.

Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, has inoculated less people than the UK, US and Israel – despite vaccine producer BioNTech being based in Mainz.

Ms Merkel has argued Germany and the EU are taking the right approach in response to critics.

She told a press conference on Tuesday having high numbers of vaccinated people in Germany without the same in neighbouring countries would not be beneficial.

7.50am update: Frexit NOW! EU ‘propaganda’ ripped apart as pressure piles onto Emmanuel Macron

A former French MEP has launched a furious attack against the Project Fear warnings and propaganda coming out of the European Union, warning ‘Frexit’ – the country’s own departure from the bloc – must happen “quickly”.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been hugely critical of Brexit since the historic referendum in 2016, with his Government regularly threatening to deadlock talks by voting down agreements if the terms did not adhere to their red lines.

But now huge pressure is building on the French President, with the coined phrase ‘Frexit’ gathering significant pace on social media and even among France’s own MEPs.

Florian Philippot, who was Vice President of the National Front in France establishing The Patriots party in September 2017, claimed the scaremongering over the UK’s departure shows Europhiles have now become “very uneasy”.

The former MEP of five years tweeted: “When the much-advertised (and desired) Brexit disaster does not occur, they claim the consequences will be visible over ten years.

“EU supporters are very uneasy, and it is starting to show. Frexit quickly!”

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