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‘He hates all we stand for’ Fanatical EU federalist made Brussels’ Brexit negotiator

ANGER erupted last night after a fanatical supporter of EU integration was given a key Brussels role in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

Nigel Farage claims Guy Verhofstadt PHOTONEWS/ BLOOMBERG
Guy Verhofstadt has been named the EU’s Brexit negotiator


Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt has been made the European Parliament point man for talks in Britain’s exit from the crumbling bloc.He will work alongside during negotiations.

Nigel Farage slammed the EU federalist who today has been made a Brexit negotiator as someone that “hates everything we stand for”.

A veteran MEP, Mr Verhofstadt should speed up Brexit, according to outgoing Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Guy Verhofstadt hates everything we stand for which should mean a much shorter renegotiation

Nigel Farage

Mr Farage said: “ which should mean a much shorter renegotiation.”Mr Verhofstadt is a fanatical supporter of EU federalism even by the standards of the European Parliament.

“This appointment will no doubt speed up the UK’s exit from the European Union.”

The European Parliament will need to approve a possible agreement on the conditions for the UK’s departure from the EU.Mr Verhofstadt is the latest official added to Brussels’ Brexit arsenal which already includes arch-federalist Michel Barnier.

According to the European Parliament the 51-year-old will “keep the Conference of Presidents, comprising the European Parliament President and group leaders, fully informed of developments and will help prepare the European Parliament position in the negotiations, in close consultation with the Conference of Presidents.”

They added: “Mr Verhofstadt will also work closely with the Chair of the Constitutional Affairs committee, Danuta Hübner and other committees wherever necessary to shape the EP’s negotiating position.”

Mr Farage said the appointment of Mr Verhofstadt could lead to shorter Brexit talksBLOOMBERG

Mr Farage said the appointment of Mr Verhofstadt could lead to shorter Brexit talks

Bill Etheridge's tweetTWITTER

Ukip leadership hopeful Bill Etheridge mocked the appointment online


Tory MEPs condemned the appointment as a “stitch up” by the European Parliament’s left-wing president Martin Schulz and also threatened to try to veto the decision.Tory MEP Syed Kamall, leader of the Conservatives and Reformists group in the assembly, said: “If the parliament wishes to appoint a then it must be a decision made by a majority of all 751 MEPs, and the person and persons to fulfil the role must be voted on by the full parliament.

“It is not right that the President and a couple of men sitting in a back room can decide everything and foist it on the democratically elected representatives.

“If the parliament thinks that Guy Verhofstadt is the right person to represent it in the negotiations then that’s fair enough, but these backroom stitch-ups are disrespectful of the 747 other MEPs and their voters.”

Michel BarnierBLOOMBERG

Mr Verhofstadt will work alongside European Commission negotiator Michel Barnier


Ukip leadership hopeful Bill Etheridge mocked the appointment.He tweeted: “Brexit negotiations to be led by two Belgians and a Frenchman; history suggests they will surrender quickly.”

But it is unclear how hard a line the former Prime Minister of Belgium will take when dealing with Britain.

The leader of the liberals in the European Parliament unveiled a sinister plan for a united states of Europe last month.

His plot involves sidelining individual countries by removing them from the decision-making process and banning member states from opting out of unpopular policies like the Schengen zone and the Euro.The proposals are likely to cause fury across the EU as they would effectively neutralise member states’ influence on decision making, taking away their veto and leaving all the power in the hands of Brussels bureaucrats and MEPs.

The appointment came after Theresa May opened Brexit talks with EU Council President Donald Tusk yesterday.

Over a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs in Downing Street, the senior Eurocrat told the Prime Minister to start the process of Britain’s departure from the bloc “as soon as possible”.

He urged her to make clear when she would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal mechanism for quitting the EU.

Ahead of the 75-minute meeting, Mr Tusk said: “We need the formal notification, I mean triggering Article 50.

“This is the position shared by all 27 member states. To put it simply, the ball is now in your court.

“I’m aware that it is not easy but I still hope you will be ready to start the process as soon as possible.

“I have no doubt that at the end of the day our common strategic goal is to establish the closest possible relations.”

After the meeting, the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman insisted that Mr Tusk had not attempted to put pressure on the Government to accelerate the triggering of Article 50.

The spokeswoman said: “What the president said was that the ball is in our court, which it is,” the spokeswoman told a regular Westminster media briefing.

“It’s for the member state to decide.”

She added: “There wasn’t a sense in the meeting that we are under pressure on this, there was a sense that they accept the position the Prime Minister has set out, and that that should provide useful time to prepare for the negotiations, precisely because we want to have a smooth departure.

“We want to take the time to prepare for the negotiations by talking to stakeholders up and down the country and doing the work here.

“The EU also needs to take time to prepare for the negotiations in terms of what approach the 27 will take.”

The spokeswoman characterised the mood of the pair’s first formal one-to-one meeting as “quite relaxed, friendly and warm”.

The talks today followed more optimistic economic forecasts for Britain’s economy in the wake of the referendum Brexit vote.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch said Britain was on course to dodge recession, as it raised its GDP estimates to 1.8% from 1.7% for this year and to 0.6% from 0.2% for 2017.

It said the UK economy had shown more resilience after a bad July, but warned that “better-than-expected data was not the same as strong data”.

Accountancy firm PwC also revised up its projections to 1.8% from 1.6% for 2016 and to 0.7% from 0.6% for the year after.

It comes after Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan upgraded their economic expectations for the UK economy earlier this week, having cut their forecasts for Britain in the wake of the Brexit vote.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “While we’ll have to wait until late October for the first official GDP estimates for the third quarter, it’s encouraging that indicators such as retail sales held up well in July and purchasing managers indices bounced back in August.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/708678/Nigel-Farage-lays-into-Guy-Verhofstadt-EU-Brexit-negotiator

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