Lord Daniel Moylan fumed he would rather see EU nations join the UK after Emmanuel Macron, who was staunchly against Brexit, suggested creating a parallel entity that could appeal to countries who aspired to join the bloc or, in an apparent reference to Britain, countries which had left the Union. Tory Lord Moylan tweeted: “I’d rather see EU member states join the United Kingdom, run from London.
“How about that, Emmanuel?”
The French leader’s comments made during a speech at a ceremony on Europe Day, commemorating the anniversary of the 1950 Schuman Declaration, which paved the way for today’s EU, also sparked anger among Brexiteers who told Mr Macron they would not forget how he treated Britain during Brexit negotiations.
George Laird tweeted: “Seeking to re-establish control over UK sovereignty, we should have nothing to do this ‘new’ group.”
Ted Elgar added: “No. We won’t forget what France did during Brexit.”
Carter Greene posted: “No thanks. The desperation is starting to show. We knew it would.”
Jack added: “Eh? No. The French President is just desperately trying to get us under institutions that allows for him to be top dog.
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He also made clear that Ukraine’s desire to join the bloc would take several years and as a result needed to be given some hope in the short-term.
Mr Macron said: ”Ukraine by its fight and its courage is already a heartfelt member of our Europe, of our family, of our union.
”Even if we grant it candidate status tomorrow, we all know perfectly well that the process to allow it to join would take several years indeed, probably several decades.”
Rather than bringing down stringent standards to allow countries to join more quickly, Mr Macron suggested creating a “European political community” would be open to democratic European nations adhering to its core values in areas such as political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment of infrastructure or circulation of people.
He added: ”Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future EU membership,” he said. “Nor would it be closed to those who left it.”
The ceremony was also held to mark the conclusion of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a year-long forum to debate reforms to the EU.
Mr Macron’s remarks come amid reports Poland, Germany and the Netherlands were drawing proposals to allow Brexit Britain “back into the fold” of European foreign discussions.
Speaking to The Telegraph a senior EU official said: “Continental leaders need to say we’re sitting down, and it would be great if you sat down with us.”
In a bid to convince Boris Johnson to agree to the plans, the UK may be offered the first rotating presidency of the new European body, reports say.
The proposal was believed to be opposed by the French President.