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TIME TO GO: Top Tory calls on ‘hostile’ Brussels boss Jean-Claude Juncker to stand down

BRUSSELS chief Jean-Claude Juncker is “hostile” to Britain and should stand down before Brexit negotiations begin, a senior Tory said today.

Welsh Tory leader Andrew Davies, left, and Jean-Claude Juncker, rightGETTY

Jean-Claude Juncker should quit ahead of the Brexit talks, a senior Tory has said


Andrew Davies, the Conservative leader in Wales, branded the EU Commission president “deluded” and warned he could stand in the way of an amicable exit deal with Europe.The Tory veteran, who was the only leader within the party to campaign for Brexit, also praised Theresa May’s tough negotiating stance and vowed she would not be “bullied and bludgeoned” by Brussels.In an interview with Express.co.uk he accused eurocrats of living in “ivory towers”, saying other EU leaders were “too frightened” to hold membership referendums because they fear their own populations would also opt to quit the struggling bloc.

Mr Davies’ bold intervention comes as the Conservative Party gears up for its first annual conference with Mrs May as leader, at which discussions about Britain’s future relationship with Europe will take centre stage.The Welsh Assembly member said he was impressed with the new prime minister’s start at No 10 – despite her backing Remain – and admitted it had been tough to go against David Cameron and campaign for a leave vote.Wales was the surprise package of the EU referendum results night, with voters defying the polls and the experts who had predicted a comfortable Remain victory and plumping for Brexit.

Theresa MayGETTY

Andrew Davies said the EU Commission chief is ‘hostile’ to Britain


Angela Merkel and Francois HollandeEPA

The veteran Tory added that other EU states are in no place to ‘lecture’ Britain over Brexit


All of the other major parties in the country, except Ukip, were backing Britain’s continued membership of the EU and Mr Davies has revealed he was under “huge pressure” from Downing Street to do the same.He said: “If I wasn’t someone who stuck to my principles, the easy option would’ve been to go with the status quo.”I have always believed that the relationship we had with Europe desperately needed changing. We’d succumbed to too much influence from faceless Brussels bureaucrats.”

The Welsh Tory leader indicated that he would prefer a ‘soft Brexit’ settlement with Brussels which would include Britain remaining in the single market, but insisted such a deal must not “encroach” on the sovereignty of parliament and the assembly in Cardiff.

And he offered a scathing assessment of EU bigwig Mr Juncker, who he urged to resign as soon as possible so that talks on the UK’s exit deal can take place in an amicable atmosphere.

Juncker is not the best person to lead these negotiations given his hostility to Britain

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew Davies

He said: “It’s really important that Europe doesn’t take a high and mighty stance on this, and that they address the negotiations in a positive way because they depend on trade with Britain.“Juncker is not the best person to lead these negotiations given his hostility to Britain in the past. He is deluded about the direction of Europe.“As long as Juncker is at the top of the Commission, it’s going to be really hard for them to grasp where the EU should go in the future and that’s a concern for me.”

He also insisted that other European leaders, such as Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande are in “no place to offer lectures” given the “anaemic” state of their economies which are “racking up debt not by the bucket load, but by the trailer load”.

Mr Davies said: “Theresa May is showing the Conservatives are the only credible negotiating vehicle. We will not be bullied and bludgeoned by bureaucrats in their palaces in Brussels.

“Most EU leaders are too frightened to offer their people an EU referendum because they know that if they did, their people too would vote to break the whole cosy thing up.“We’ve got to celebrate the diversity of Europe, not try to wipe it off the map with some faceless bureaucracy.”Referencing the EU’s flag, anthem, and proposal for its own military, he added: “It’s been shown that time and time again when people are offered the chance of that they turn their backs on it.”

The EU Commission has appointed the French politician Michel Barnier as its lead negotiator in the upcoming Brexit talks which will begin when Britain triggers Article 50 – expected to be early next year.

The Brussels insider is notoriously “anti-British” and his elevation to the role by Mr Juncker has been interpreted as a sign that bureaucrats intend to be deliberately antagonistic towards the UK during what are likely to be fraught negotiations.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/716419/Jean-Claude-Juncker-Welsh-Tory-Andrew-Davies-EU-Commission-chief-quit-Brexit

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