Brexit plot to stop English talent being displaced laid bare before Euro 2020 final

Jacquie Beltrao discusses England's Euro 2020 final match

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England made history as they reached its first major tournament final since winning the World Cup in 1966 after beating Denmark 2-1 in a gripping encounter at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions had to come from behind to win and, as the match went into extra-time, a penalty decided the result. Southgate told the UEFA website: “I’m so proud of the players.

“It was an incredible occasion to be a part of. The fans were incredible all night.”

England will now face Italy in the final after the Azzurri beat Spain on penalties on Tuesday.

While many have tried to keep politics out of this tournament, because it is the first one after Brexit, it has automatically gained a considerable international political value.

Pierre-Etienne Minonzio wrote for L’Equipe that in France there is a feeling that UEFA have done everything they can to help England win because of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Moreover, when asked if French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would want to see England winning the Euro 2020, Swedish MEP Peter Lundgren told “From the experience I have…

“I would say they would definitely not be in favour of England winning.

“They never like [it] when the UK is successful.”

As tensions across the continent rise, unearthed reports suggest that while Brexit might have complicated transfers for the Premier League, Britain’s withdrawal might have been key for England’s national team.

Greg Clarke, the chairman of the FA, told British media in 2017: “What we want to do is have a few less journeyman international players.

“There has to be a sensible center ground where world-class players are welcomed in the Premier League but not journeymen who are displacing the young English talent.”

Writing for POLITICO, journalist Peter Berlin added: “And more British players will mean better players for the English national team — whose performance politicians follow with close attention.

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“As the Brexit vote showed, wrapping yourself in the flag of Saint George, while unpopular on the UK’s Celtic fringe, plays well with English voters.”

Italian political commentator has shed light on the significance of England’s victory on Wednesday night.

Writing for Italian news website Assud, the journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote: “The final between Italy and England will be played at Wembley Stadium in London.

“What a mockery for the powerful bankers who rule Europe.

“Whatever happens, the EU of bankers and finance has lost.

“The final of the European football championship, Euro 2020, will be played in England and one of the two teams in the final, together with Italy, is England.

“For Europe, the worst could have not happened.”

The commentator claimed the powerful bankers tried in every way to have the final move to another European city as “any place would do as long as it wasn’t in England.”

Last month, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi asked for the Euro 2020 final to be moved from London to Rome amid concerns about the coronavirus Delta variant spreading in the UK.

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Asked during a news conference in Berlin if he was in favour of moving the final to Rome, the former President of the European Central Bank (ECB) said: “Yes… I will work to make it happen in a country where new coronavirus infections are not on the rise.”

Mr Draghi’s bid eventually failed.

The commentator added: “So the European final will be played on non-European soil (England is the Brexit one) and the final of the European championship will involve a non-European team.

“We already see the powerful of Europe: French, Germans, Luxembourgers, Dutch, Swedes wearing blue shirts cheering on Italy while they eat pizza, spaghetti and drink wine.

“Perhaps not everyone knows that these are the first post-Brexit Europeans and have a considerable international political value. It is not just football, and Europe has shamefully lost through obvious inferiority.”

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