Brexit: Italy ‘most likely to leave EU next’ says McCrae
German Nicolaus Fest insisted Britain had paved the way to future EU exits by securing a “strong deal” against the odds. As Britain reaps its rewards from Brexit, Mr Fest believes other countries will start to take note of success stories previously blocked by Brussels. He told Express.co.uk: “Britain leaving the EU has had a seismic impact on both European and domestic politics.
“It has certainly opened the door to other countries to follow Britain’s lead in becoming an independent sovereign nation once again.
“Despite the odds the UK was able to secure a strong deal with the EU, after just a year of negotiations, whilst they simultaneously concluded prosperous trade deals with other nations around the globe.
“If Britain continues along this path of success it will become increasingly hard for the EU, without major reform, to convince us that it is better to be in rather than out.”
His remarks come after former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned Brussels should prepare to “combat” the same levels of resentment that prompted Britain’s referendum.
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The Frenchman suggested that its leaders must make an example of the split to prove it’s “better to be inside than outside”.
Speaking about Euroscepticism at an online event, Mr Barnier said: “Today, in many regions, there is this anger, the same feeling against Europe, the same problem to understand what we are doing at the European level.
“We have to be vigilant because it is always a risk for the future. This risk can be combated by the proof that it is clearly a better situation to be inside the EU than outside.”
Euroscepticism has been rising across the bloc since Britain’s referendum in 2016.
Mr Barnier’s comments come after internal polling found that the EU’s “overall image continues to deteriorate”.
Only 40 per cent of Europeans now see the bloc as a “positive” thing.
Separate Eurobarometer analysis found more than half of Europeans were “not satisfied” with the EU’s response to the pandemic.
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Mr Fest said this resentment towards the Brussels project would continue to rise unless the EU begins listening to its citizens.
He said: “Barnier sounds like a broken record saying the EU will ‘combat’ resentment of the EU.
“How can the EU expect to achieve this goal unless they listen to the people they represent?
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“Our citizens continue to demand less centralisation, less European interference and the ability to control their own borders.
“Instead of listening to the people, the EU fuels the fire for resentment. The vaccine fiasco, the inability to stop illegal migration and spiralling debt, to name a few, are a recipe for disaster.
“Resentment will continue to grow if the EU continues to neglect its own citizens at any cost in order to accelerate progress towards a European superstate.”
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