Brexit: ECJ will still have a role says Adam Fleming
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The French leader set out the proposal in May in Strasbourg, hinting Brexit Britain could also be invited to join the new political body. Mr Macron said: “This new European organisation would allow democratic European nations adhering to our set of values to find a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, and the movement of people, especially our youth.
“Joining it would not prejudge future membership in the European Union, necessarily, just as it would not be closed to those who have left.”
The French President’s government has now written a non-paper on the proposal for EU ambassadors to discuss its implementation and is hoping to open further discussion on the plans at next week’s EU Council Summit.
In a bid to lure the UK back in the bloc via the back door, French officials told Politico the community would be open to Ukraine “but also Britain, if it wishes to join”.
The non-paper, seen by Politico, states: “The European Political Community would be open to European states that share a common set of democratic values, whether or not they are members of the Union and regardless of the nature of their current relationship with the European Union: whether they wish to join it, have left it, do not plan to join it, or are linked to it only by economic agreements.”
The move has infuriated Brexiteers in the UK as the bloc continues to lock horns with the Government over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Former British MEP Roger Helmer blasted: “France invites Britain to join new European political community.
“Macron is just not getting it.
“Most of us were happy to join a ‘Common Market’.
“I voted for it. But we didn’t want a political union, which is why we voted Brexit.”
The French President also drew criticism within the EU.
MEP and Poland’s former Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski described the plans as a “trap”.
He told EUWatch: “It’s a kind of trap for these countries. It would keep them in a limbo.
“Maybe they would be included in some additional cooperation programs of the EU, and receive extra funds. But it would also keep them away from the EU. I witnessed similar attempts 30 years ago when Poland and other countries from Central Europe applied for NATO membership. Instead of granting them a membership, NATO created the North Atlantic Cooperation Council which was open to all former members of the Warsaw Pact.
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“Some of us wanted to go further, so they created the Partnership for Peace program, but it was still not a full membership.
“This time, history seems to be repeating itself in the case of EU. I don’t think this is going to fly.
“Ukraine, but also Georgia have already introduced enormous packages and adopted most of the Acquis Communautaire of the EU.
“Yet, they haven’t received any substantial rewards from the EU.
“They really count on EU membership, not on some sort of a new substitute institution.”
The French leader voiced a tougher line on Russia on Wednesday after visiting French and allied troops at a NATO base in Romania, seeking to assuage concerns in Ukraine and among some European allies over his previous stance towards Moscow.
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President Macron arrived in Romania on Tuesday for a three-day trip to NATO’s southern flank including Moldova before possibly heading to Kyiv on Thursday on a visit with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, two diplomatic sources said.
The French leader has been criticised by Ukraine and eastern European allies for what they perceived as his ambiguous backing for Ukraine in the war against Russia.
French officials have in recent days sought to strengthen the public messaging, while Macron appeared to take a tougher line on Tuesday evening when he was with his troops.
“We will do everything to stop Russia’s war forces, to help the Ukrainians and their army and continue to negotiate,” he told French and NATO troops at a military base in Romania.
“But for the foreseeable future, we will need to protect, dissuade and be present,” he said.
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