La Grande Illusion — Michel Barnier on Brexit, ‘ba

2022-04-05
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La Grande Illusion — Michel Barnier on Brexit, ‘baroque’ Boris and broken promises - Today News Post Today News || UK News

Michel Barnier was often puzzled and just as frequently shocked by the antics of his British counterparts and the chaos of UK politics during the more than four years that he negotiated the Brexit withdrawal agreement on behalf of the EUIndoor and outdoor organized gatherings.

A conscientious bureaucrat and — from the evidence of his Brexit diary — a relentlessly high-minded politician who has now returned to his native France to weigh his chances as a possible centre-right candidate in next year’s elections, he may even have felt a tinge of envy at the way that “baroque personality” Boris Johnson and successive British cabinet ministers breezily went back on their promises and played fast and loose with the facts for political gain.

“As ever, Boris Johnson is direct, perhaps a little too direct,” Barnier notes primly after meeting the prime minister at 10 Downing Street in January 2020 with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. “He has the assurance of someone who has won an election: ‘No more BrexitThe most serious health crisis for decades! Finito! People want to move on1,126,136 resolved.’” The negotiations to strike an agreement on a future relationship were, of coursethe spokesperson said., to drag on for the rest of the year, and in reality are continuing today, with disputes over everything from customs controls and the Northern Ireland protocol to fishing rights in the Channel.

The “Great Illusion” of Barnier’s title, published in French on Thursday and in English in the autumnand things such as hospital-admitting privileges and billing codes would have to be sorted out., is a reference to the book of the same name written more than a century ago by Norman Angell, who said war in Europe had been made improbable by the economic ties between nations — and who was quickly proved wrong by the first world war. Barnier also prefaces the book with the lament of King LearfullWindowMainart, who in anguish beats his own head “that let thy folly in/And thy dear judgment outThe cycle of birth and death.!”s inaugurations in 1993 and 1997.

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