Switzerland: Reporter discusses collapse of EU trade talks
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And Micheal Martin, Ireland’s Taoiseach, has been warned his country will inevitably be among those picking up the tab to plug the £9billion hole which has been blown in the EU’s budget by the departure of the UK. Jayne Adye, director of Get Britain Out, was speaking at the end of a week which has seen Brussels effectively threaten to cut of Switzerland’s power supply in retaliation for its refusal to sign a wide-ranging trade agreement with the EU earlier this year.
This is a facade which has started to crumble in the last five years
Ever since the creation of the EU’s forerunner, the European Coal and Steel Community, in 1951, the intention had been a continuous expansion of member states and economic power, ostensibly to maintain peace, Ms Adye suggested.
However, she said: “Key to achieving this idea is good public perception, with the citizens and Governments of countries around Europe believing joining the EU would do them more good than harm.
“This is a facade which has started to crumble in the last five years since the United Kingdom voted to Leave the EU.
“Not only has the UK been able to succeed outside the EU so far – in spite of a global pandemic – but the actions of the EU towards the UK for the last five years have exposed the ideological vindictiveness of the bureaucrats in Brussels for any country which is unwilling to fully embrace total EU control.”
The Brexit negotiations had exposed the EU’s refusal to relinquish power, Ms Adye claimed.
She explained: “Across the board, despite the UK leaving the EU, there is an ongoing insistence the UK must agree to continue following EU rules – simply because we are in close proximity to their economic bloc.
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“Why would any country look at the European model and think it is the right choice to join, knowing as a Government you would be signing away your sovereignty?”
Britain’s experience had made it clear severing ties with the bloc would not resolve the situation either, given the EU’s attempts to force Britain to adhere to its rules even after Brexit, Ms Adye warned.
She said: “Threats made this week by the EU to cut off power to Switzerland in response to their walking away from seven-years’-worth of trade negotiations, is yet another example of the EU’s bullying techniques. They clearly think this threat by France worked in Jersey, so want to use it again.
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“It seems the EU has been unable to learn lessons from Brexit, with no change in its internal policy approach.
“If anything, it seems Brexit has resulted in a greater drive towards reducing the powers of Member States and ignoring the interests of each country in favour of a single-minded federalist approach.”
For instance, instead of decreasing the EU budget as a result of the loss of contributions from the UK, the EU now forced Member States to pay more to make up the difference, with countries such Ireland facing a huge jump in payments – a bill which any new Member State is also expected to pick up, she pointed out.
Ms Adye said: “We should remember the amount a country is forced to pay is based on the size of their economy, meaning if a country enjoys economic success then your contribution increases – effectively punishing not encouraging success.
“Instead of thinking about whether there is some way to make EU membership more attractive to newcomers in the years after Brexit, the EU have gone in completely the opposite direction.
“Whether it’s the EU’s sclerotic approach to vaccine rollout; the ever-growing development of an EU Army; or the blatant disregard for the democratic wishes of the citizens of Europe, it’s clear that when it comes to attracting more countries to sign up for Membership, the EU is its own worst enemy.”
In a statement issued earlier this week, Ursula von der Leyen’s European Commission said: “Switzerland will gradually lose its privileged connection with the EU electricity system.
“Less connection and less cooperation will make the Swiss energy system less efficient and more costly for Swiss consumers.”
National grid operator Swissgrid AG is concerned exclusion from the EU power market, will result in its network, which links to those of neighbouring countries in 41 places through massive power cables known as interconnectors – will eventually become less stable.
It also faces the possibility of being cut off from the power supply of its neighbours, which it relies on in the winter months, when energy demand surges.
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