Brexit: EU 'needs to be reasonable' warns Truss
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The former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has explained that the European Union of the surface appears strong which has given Brussels a “false sense of security”. But under the surface, it is facing fragmentation which has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, he explained. Mr Varoufakis warned that the bloc could be hit by the renationalisation of policy as it becomes more “irrelevant”.
Speaking to the New Statesman, Mr Varoufakis said: “Seemingly the European Union has become stronger and ties between EU countries have become more powerful as a result of Brexit in reaction to the pain that Brexit cause.
“But this gave a false sense of security to the powers that be in the European Union.
“They are continuing to double down on the policies which lead to the fragmentation under the surface of the European Union.”
He continued: “It’s becoming increasingly obvious that you have this paradox.
“The EU seems to be more cohesive but under the surface, if you look at debt, at banking, at growth rates and investment, the fragmentation becomes greater and the danger that the EU has is not exits.
“It is the renationalisation of policy, something that the pandemic exacerbated and the increasing irrelevance of the EU on the continent.”
It comes as the Environment Secretary said there are “positive indications” that a truce will be reached in the “sausage war” trade dispute with the European Union (EU) over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The UK has applied for an extension to a grace period allowing chilled meats to continue being shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the end of this month, when the current arrangements are due to expire.
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Downing Street told reporters on Wednesday it had received no reply to its formal request for an extension and that work between the two sides was “ongoing”.
However, Cabinet minister George Eustice signalled that talks with Brussels on a Protocol grace period for chilled meats were heading in the right direction.
Mr Eustice told LBC Radio: “I think we are getting some positive indications and it’s always our view that it’s better if we can reach agreement with the European Union on these things.
“It didn’t make any sense to simply say that there’s a ban on the sale of sausages to Northern Ireland, we’re still in dialogue with the European Union about some longer-term solutions on the wider issues around export health certificates.
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“While those are ongoing, I think it makes sense for them, just for a few more months, to leave the current arrangement we have in place.”
The UK Government and the EU are locked in a dispute over the implementation of the Protocol, the part of the Brexit divorce deal aimed at avoiding a hard border with Ireland.
The agreement keeps Northern Ireland in the single market to avoid a land border but unionists have expressed fears the Protocol is separating the region from the rest of the UK, with it effectively drawing a border down the Irish Sea.
Suppliers in Great Britain are said to have become reluctant to export goods into Northern Ireland due to the increase in paperwork post-Brexit while supermarkets have warned of decreasing choice on their shelves as they struggle to get hold of products since the Protocol came into force in January.
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