Published On: Mon, May 22nd, 2023
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Eurocrat claims Brexit has given EU member states opportunity to ‘renew their vows’ | Politics | News

Brexit has given EU member states the opportunity to “renew” their “vows”, a Eurocrat has claimed.

EU Commissioner Mairead McGuiness insisted the Brussels bloc has “strengthened internally” since the UK voted to leave as she highlighted other challenges such as the Covid pandemic and Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr on LBC, Ms McGuiness said: “We’ve had some change, nothing will be the same after Brexit, but I suppose Brexit was seven years ago and we’ve only recently concluded various agreements.

“If you look at it from an EU point of view, Europe didn’t disintegrate either.

“What was interesting was we took the opportunity to renew our vows, we strengthened internally because there were other pressures like Covid, the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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“So, I think none of us would like to see the other weaker. Or at least that is my perspective on this. Of course, a strong UK is important for a strong European Union.

“Maybe all of the talk after the referendum was part of a divorce settlement where we were had lots of harsh words for each other, it took a while to reach an agreement. But we have delivered now.

“And I think what’s really good for me being in London today and tomorrow is the Windsor Framework agreed between your Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission has really resolved the last difficulties in the relationship and allows us to move forward.”

Ms McGuiness added that the political atmosphere has shifted between Britain and Brussels since Rishi Sunak took the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Earlier this year, Mr Sunak struck his Windsor Framework deal with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a bid to resolve issues with post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Ms McGuiness said: “I think what that shows is if there’s a political will, and there’s trust between parties, we can solve almost anything. And I think that has happened.

“I think there was also an understanding that what was happening in Northern Ireland was particular and it needed to be addressed in a sensitive way given the different views that were there.

“It’s also been nice when I’m here to hear the support for the memorandum of understanding.

“This is all very positive and it’s good that in 2023, given that it’s seven years ago that the referendum happened, that I think our relationship is in a much better place.

“We needed that. Interesting too that it’s on the back of realising that the UK and Europe work really well together on sanctions against Russia.

“So, I think we’ve seen the value of working together and I think that has to continue for the future.”

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