French MEP’s Frexit drive gains momentum as voters say EU is ‘disaster for our country’

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Florian Philippot, who leads the Les Patriotes party, silenced those arguing over where the European Parliament should be, insisting the institution would be better “eliminated”. He suggested the Parliament buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg would be better used as centres for research and innovation.

Mr Philippot’s online campaign comes as post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the bloc heat up, with the Prime Ministers’ mid-October deadline for an agreement drawing closer.

The French politician tweeted: “Stop arguing about the location of the EP, we want it to be eliminated and to exit the EU asap”

“We don’t care whether the seat of the European Parliament is in Strasbourg or Brussels, we just want the abolition of this fake parliament and the exit from the EU as soon as possible!

“Let’s make the Strasbourg building a world centre for research and innovation, it will be much more useful!”

He added: “Let’s get out of the EU and all this mediocrity as quickly as possible! #Frexit”

His call for change garnered support from Frenchmen and women who said they were fed up of being part of the 27-member bloc.

One person responded: “Whatever we do with this building, it will always be more useful than this parliament.”

A second tweeted: “This parliament is illegitimate and Europe a disaster for our country. Frexit!”

Mr Philippot hit out at the “stupidity” of the European Parliament, which is presided over by David Sassoli.

The French MEP said it was high time the French stood up to the system which sees politicians in the Parliament “paid a fortune with our taxes”.

A Twitter account representing the European Commission in France tweeted a meme of how many French voters feel the body has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first photo shows a man telling another: “Europe hasn’t done anything during the coronavirus crisis!” to which the other responded, “Health is not a European competence”.

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When the other shouts back, “Even better, we don’t need Europe!” his opponent says, “But you just complained about the EU not doing anything!”

The increasing support for Frexit on social media comes as France remains in the grips of a second wave of coronavirus.

On Tuesday it emerged it was among the European countries facing a shortage of the covid drug remdesivir.

Limited supplies are running out, EU officials have warned, with cases surging and the United States having bought up most of drugmaker Gilead’s output.

In July, the 27 EU member states and Britain, with a combined population of 500 million, secured doses to treat about 30,000 patients.

Washington signed a deal for more than 500,000 courses of treatment, accounting for most of Gilead’s output through September.

Dutch Health Ministry spokesman Martijn Janssen said: “Remdesivir has run out.”

He added however new deliveries were expected shortly.

The antiviral drug has been shown to shorten hospital recovery time in severe cases of COVID-19.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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