EU must not interfere in “proud and sovereign” Britain, says top MEP

A respected Italian MEP and economist has lauded Brexit Britain for its plucky spirit in the face of bullying Brussels, blasting Eurocrats for continuing to view the UK as an underling.  

“The UK is no longer part of the EU but they don’t understand it,” Lega MEP, Antonio Maria Rinaldi told the Express. His comments coincide with a poll that discovered around a third of citizens in four of the bloc’s most powerful member states, including France and Germany, think the EU is mistreating the UK.

Last week, Angela Merkel, backed by Emmanuel Macron, demanded the EU27 impose heavy quarantine restrictions on British travellers in spite of the UK’s world-beating Covid vaccination programme. The move came just as transport secretary Grant Shapps was looking to ease travel to certain parts of Europe.

“The EU knows perfectly well that if the UK’s withdrawal was easy, all the other member states would have followed suit in a heartbeat,” commented Rinaldi.

He emphasised the EU’s role in further straining relations. “They are trying to make every single thing complicated so that other countries understand that they should never take this path.

“I want to be even more precise: the EU is wrongly interfering with the sovereignties of countries,” affirmed the Eurosceptic.

In a vote of confidence for the UK he added: “The UK is a proud and sovereign country so interferences are not tolerable.

“The UK is no longer part of the EU but they don’t understand it. They still consider it under their rule, they see it as a province under their empire. It is not. And the EU is not an empire.”

The poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for Euronews asked people living in Germany, France, Italy and Spain if they agreed with the statement: “The European Union wants to punish the United Kingdom for leaving”.

In Italy, Spain and France, a majority of people agreed. The biggest discrepancy was in Italy where 33% agreed and only 26% disagreed. Only in Germany did more people take the opposite view, but it was close, 32% to 30%.

A majority of those polled agreed across the board with the notion British politicians were being “less cordial” towards the EU and its member states. 37% in France, 39% in Germany 43% in Italy and 51% in Spain. Those who thought relations had become more cordial, hovered around the 10% mark.  “Not changed” ranged between 27% and 31%.

EU Diplomats meet today to hash out a resolution to Merkel’s demands after the Greek government vehemently pushed back.

Spain is among the nations backing the Greeks. Perhaps public attitudes will shift when people see Britain trying to re-open the Covid-hit tourism sector, only to be blocked by Brussels.