EU Internal Policy

‘Then we say oh sh*t!’ Brexit negotiator Verhofstadt DESTROYS Brussels in epic rant on EU

The fired up Belgian politician swore at one point as he tore into the Brussels status quo, blasting key policies like the Schengen zone and the euro currency as unfinished.In an epic rant at a summit of European mayors in the Belgian capital he rattled off a fierce defence of EU unity but said “nationalist” thinking at member state level was holding the project back.
He also told the assembled politicians that cities were best place to “fight populism” because of their open societies and large ethnic minority populations.Mr Verhofstadt made the remarks after EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker mapped out five “pathways” the bloc can take after Brexit, the most federalist of which is named after the lifelong europhile.

Brexit negotiator Guy VerhofstadtEbS    Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt launched a stunning attack on Brussels

Brexit negotiator Guy VerhofstadtEbS    The former Belgian politician said the EU has implemented policies without the proper foundations

The ex Belgian prime minister warned that the entire European project is facing a “crucial year” in 2017 with elections set to take place in the Netherlands, France and Germany.And in an astonishing attack he said ordinary people who criticised the EU for not working were right because it had failed them on migration, terror and financial regulation.He roared: ““We have to stop what I call the disease of Europe, which is we start with a fantastic policy.“We want a single currency, then after a few years we say ‘oh sh*t’ we don’t have the necessary tools and instruments to keep it alive and to keep it healthy.“Or we want freedom of movement inside the union, but don’t talk about the European Border and Coast Guard because that we don’t want.”

 We want a single currency, then after a few years we say ‘oh sh*t’ we don’t have the necessary tools and instruments to keep it alive

Guy Verhofstadt

He explained: “Schengen is a fantastic thing, but let’s be honest first of all you need to have a good outside European border management before you can have a Schengen area that works.“The same is happening with the euro, so we have a single currency fortunately but let’s be honest we still don’t have a government, a treasury, a common management of the debt and so on that is necessary behind this currency.”Mr Verhofstadt, who will represent the EU parliament in the Brexit talks, said it was “not sufficient enough to make a good deal with the British to secure our future” and that Brussels needed a massive overhaul.He argued the EU Commission needed to slim down from its current gargantuan size to a “small European government capable to act with less regulation”, but denied this would mean the creation of a superstate.And he called for an “alliance” between the authorities in the big cities and Brussels to circumvent the power of national governments, which the Belgian argued cannot solve problems because of their obsession with sovereingty.He said: “People are not against Europe, people have a problem with the EU as it works today, and you have to say they are right when they criticise Europe.“The way we have managed the migration flows, the refugee crisis, the way we still have not cleaned up our banks in Europe eight years after the financial crisis, our weaknesses in our own neighbourhood where we are not capable to stand together and do something.“Such an alliance can solve problems that nation states are not capable to solve today because they are stuck in their philosophy that sovereignty can only be implemented on the national level.“It’s completely crazy sovereignty can be implemented on every level on a local level a city level is maybe better than on a national level.”

Mayors from a number of leading European cities, including Leeds and Cardiff, are in Brussels today for a summit on how they can help to tackle the rise of eurosceptic and populist movements.

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