Jerome Riviere: We want to gain our sovereignty back
Britain finally completed Brexit and cut all ties with the EU at the end of last year following 47 years of membership to the bloc. The UK has flourished since then, surging ahead of the EU with its vaccination programme after Brussels became engulfed in a furious row with vaccine maker AstraZeneca over product and supply issues. Euroscepticism has been surging, with several EU nations – including Frexit campaigners in France – launching stinging attacks and demanding they be the next country to follow the UK out of the Brussels bloc.
Now a French MEP has launched his own stunning broadside against the EU, warning the bloc has now “left the democratic domain”.
Jerome Riviere wrote on Twitter: “”I love Europe but I don’t like the European Union!
“Until Maastricht, the European project was something beneficial. But today, we have left the democratic domain!”
Mr Riviere accompanied his criticism of the EU with a video of him speaking on French news channel TV Libertés in which he lashed out at the powers available to Brussels.
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The French MEP suggested the EU heavily relies on his country for huge financial contributions, adding: “If France doesn’t pay, the EU doesn’t work.”
He said: “I was very happy with Brexit for a very simple reason. The British people said they wanted to leave this EU.
“It is unimaginable to prevent a people from deciding their fate.
“I like Europe, but I don’t like the EU.
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“I think the EU conceived in the 1950s and until 1992 with Maastricht was a space for cooperation that made us richer.
“Until Maastricht, it was a very positive project.
“We must remember that Europe is not the EU and the EU is not Europe.
“After Maastricht, we left the democratic domain. The powers given to the commission have no justification and that should change.”
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Mr Riviere added: “France is one of the main EU contributors.
“If Marine Le Pen said France would not give more money to the EU, we wouldn’t need Frexit because the EU would change.
“If France doesn’t pay, the EU doesn’t work. Who pays, decides?
“We will decide and what we want for the EU is to be a community of nations that freely cooperate with each other.”
During the same interview, the French MEP claimed “France is in danger” and lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron, claiming he “brings chaos” and has “failed to manage” the pandemic.
He said “France is in danger, and France’s liquidators are now grouped behind Macron.
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“One of the elements that made Macron’s election possible was that a number of French people were afraid of Marine Le Pen because the media told them that Marine Le pen would bring chaos.
“We realise today that Emmanuel Macron brings chaos. All the people who voted, not for Macron, but against Le Pen because they were afraid of chaos, are now disappointed because the project that Macron presented was false.
“The truth is that there was never a project. He carries with him the idea of the globalist, pro-immigration, and anti-borders EU, and he has failed to manage this Covid-19 pandemic.”
Mr Riviere continued to lash out at the French President over his management of the Covid pandemic, claiming Mr Macron “gave too much power to the EU” as part of his “stronger together”.
He also claimed Mr Macron’s “project was stupid” and raged the vaccination rollout has been “disastrous from start to finish”.
The French MEP said in his interview: “Macron gave too much power to the EU claiming that we were stronger together.
“The truth is that France refused to close the borders when countries like Spain had done so in the beginning of the pandemic.
“Macron’s way of handling things by entrusting this management to the EU demonstrated that his project was stupid, and the vaccine management is the same.
“It was not up to the EU to buy the vaccines. They insisted on being a central purchasing centre, but we were the last served and we paid more than everyone else.
“We pay more than our British neighbours. We were served later than our British neighbours.
“It was disastrous from start to finish. It is a failure of this EU project, wished by Macron.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.