‘Britons love to detest me’ Emmanuel Macron’s issues petty attack on Brexit Britain
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Speaking to European media outlets on Monday, the French President said the UK must choose between its commitment to being the EU’s best ally, the US’ best partner, or the new Singapore. In a blunt attack on Brexit Britain, President Macron said: “What politics does Great Britain wish to choose? It cannot be the best ally of the US, the best ally of the EU and the new Singapore.
“It has to choose a model. But I have the impression the country’s leaders have sold all these models.
“If it decides on a completely transatlantic policy then we [the EU] will need clarification because there will be divergence on rules and access to markets.
“If it decides to be the new Singapore, which it has once suggested… well, I don’t know.”
Asked about the future of the bilateral relationship between France and the UK post-Brexit, Macron said: “Our destinies are linked, our intellectual approach is linked, our researchers and industrials work together… I believe in a sovereign continent and nation-states.
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“I don’t believe in neo-nationalism.”
The French leader added: “I am for common ambition and a common destiny.
“I hope Boris Johnson is also on that path, because I think the British people are. We remain allies.
“History and geography don’t change, so I don’t think the British people have a different destiny to ours.”
But asked by The Guardian to give his personal opinion on the UK’s decision to free itself from EU’s shackles, he said: “I like your country a lot, but as I have already said, I think Brexit is an error.
“I respect the sovereignty of the people and the people voted, so it had to be done, but I think that vote was based on a lot of lies and now we see it has made things much more difficult in many ways.
“Whenever there’s a problem with the EU, the British just love to detest the French – and me – and say we are responsible.
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“I have accepted this role. Sometimes when there are tensions, I ask ‘Why me?’ – perhaps making me out to be more important than I am!”
On Monday, Europe minister Clement Beaune, a close ally of President Macron’s, claimed the UK was “taking many risks” in its independent vaccine scheme.
He questioned Britain’s decision to give out doses 12 weeks apart and questioned the efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. Asked whether the EU’s handling of the pandemic was an advert for Brexit, Mr Beaune replied: “It has nothing to do with Brexit, but I understand that you make the comparison.
“The British are in an extremely difficult health situation. They are taking many risks in this vaccination campaign. And I can understand it, but they are taking many risks.
“They have massively spaced, and the scientists have told us not to, the two injections apart to up to 42 days.
“They mainly depend on one vaccine, AstraZeneca. The European authority will tell us tomorrow, but Germany has already told us about doubts regarding the effectiveness in people above 65.
“The UK has used the vaccine in this age group. So I understand that if they are in a difficult health situation, they take additional risks, that I do not think our citizens would accept if we took all those risks despite the recommendations of our scientists.”
In a separate interview, Mr Beaune suggested that the European Union would seek to punish AstraZeneca, the maker of the Oxford-produced jab, if it fails to deliver sufficient doses to member states.
The EU and the Anglo-Swedish firm have been locked in a row after the firm announced it would slash the number of Covid vaccines shipped to the bloc.
AstraZeneca has since sent a peace offering of nine million extra jabs to the bloc.
It will now send 40 million doses of the Oxford-produced Covid vaccine to member states by the end of March – up from a previous offer of 31 million jabs.
The concession, however, leaves European capitals with a shortfall of around 40 million doses after they were expected to receive 80 million vaccines from AstraZeneca in that time period.
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