Michel Barnier says Brexit could happen in other EU nations

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Michel Barnier spoke to LBC’s Iain Dale about his time during the Brexit negotiations and was asked whether he believes a Brexit style vote could happen again. Mr Dale explained the issues in the UK which lead to the Brexit vote – anger with the Government, migration, local authority issues – could easily be found elsewhere and so another country leaving the bloc could be viable. Mr Barnier agreed, stating it is not completely down to the conduct of the EU for people to turn their backs on it rather voters are annoyed by domestic issues which can only be fixed by their governments. 

Speaking on LBC, host Dale wondered if Mr Barnier believed a Brexit style separation from the EU could happen for another country.

He asked: “The fact that there were lots of people who were dissatisfied with a lot of things in Britain.

“Not particularly necessarily the European Union but they were angry about austerity, the policies of the David Cameron government.

“So they took the opportunity to kick the Government, which I guess can happen anywhere.

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“But if it can happen in Britain, it could happen elsewhere, do you think that it could happen in another European country?”

Mr Barnier agreed and said: “Yes actually, so exactly for the reason you mentioned.

“The social, what I call a pseudo-social anger, the lack of public services, no future, no jobs and uncontrolled migration.

“We can find exactly the same [situation] in many regions of Europe that is why I wrote a chapter warning [of this].”

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“Just to say as a politician, responsible politician, that we have to draw the lessons.

“And the answers, as you correctly said, are not all to be found in Brussels. They made many mistakes in 30 or 40 last years…

“Many [problems] have to be found in Brussels, many answers, but not all the answers, there have to be found in each national capital and sometimes at the regional level.”

Mr Barnier wrote a book about his experiences during the Brexit negotiations named: My Secret Brexit Diary: A Glorious Illusion.

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The former negotiator appeared on LBC ahead of its publication at the beginning of October where he shared his views of Brexit.

Mr Barnier told LBC he was “surprised” at the result and did not think the UK would vote for Brexit.

Mr Dale, who voted to leave, joked and said he did not believe it happened either.

Mr Barnier told LBC: “It was a sovereign decision of the UK people, 52 per cent of British citizens.

“And I immediately thought that we had to respect this vote because it was, and it remains, a sovereign vote of the British people.”

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