Britons MOCK EU as insiders admit smaller states already missing UK – ‘Not our problem!’

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Smaller nations in the bloc have said they are already missing the UK’s influence in Brussels amid signs that Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron plan to quickly impose their dominance over the bloc. Angry officials raged Ms Merkel has demonstrated she is willing to flex her muscles in Britain’s absence by pushing through a trade deal with China as Germany’s six month presidency of the EU concludes. The EU and China have agreed an investment deal which the German Chancellor has insisted will provide companies in the bloc with greater access to Chinese market help redress unbalanced economic ties.

But the deal is already quickly threatening to create a huge new rift.

One Brussels diplomat told Politico: “There’s a lot of frustration among smaller countries about the way the Commission has been used to push through one of Merkel’s pet projects at the end of her term and the end of her legacy.

“Is this the way the EU will work post-Brexit?

“The Brits are just out and we’re already missing their open market-oriented approach.

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“If Germany weighs in too much, smaller EU countries have nothing to say.”

Now Express.co.uk readers have reacted by mocking the EU, with the UK having just fully severed all ties with the bloc.

One person said: “Not our problem – those smaller countries ignored our warnings, sat on their hands when we demanded reforms, went along with the attempted bullying when we exercised our right to leave and they must now deal with the consequences.

“No longer our concern, we’ll be looking after ourselves.”

A second reader wrote: “Isn’t it great to be outside looking in and seeing all the squabbles that are starting to emerge.

“It is like watching a Punch and Judy Show.”

Another reader commented: “Europhiles love the myth of EU solidarity.

“In fact, EU solidarity is like the Loch Ness monster – you hear a lot about it, but never see it.”

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A fourth person added: “It has been the UK that has held the stabilising hand of control over Europe for many years.

“Now the 25 small countries will have to join together to take back that position the UK held.

“If they don’t, they will be left for dust.

“Better still I would suggest they all leave the EU and join the UK who will join the Pacific & Asian group that will be far larger than the EU in the next year or so.”

A fifth person simply wrote: “We owe them nothing. Not even the time of day.”

The agreement with China has been under negotiation for the past seven years and could take at least another 12 months to fully come into effect.

This deal was struck after China’s President Xi Jinping and Ms Merkel held a video call, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The agreement will see European firms gain permission to operate in China in electric cars, telecom cloud services and certain activities linked to air and maritime transport, such as ground handling.

But offcials from Italy, Poland, Belgium and Spain are unhappy at the way Germany has pushed through the agreement, rejecting their warnings it ignored slave labour concerns in China and risked alienating incoming US President Joe Biden.

The insiders claim they have felt like they have been steamrolled by Ms Merkel and the “German engine” that exists within Brussels.

Critics of the agreement between the two sides also fear it hands a boost to President Xi, whose Government has come under mounting pressure for its brutal crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, treatment of minorities in Xinjiang and its reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

Italian foreign affairs minister Ivan Scalfarotto told the Corriere della Sera: “We are giving a positive signal to China at a time of significant human-rights concerns.”

German officials have launched a strong defence, insisting they and the European Commission consulted with other capitals and that while some raised objections, no one held up a “stop sign”.

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