Brexit should not be opportunity to move towards a federal Europe - Alfred Sant
Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said that Brexit should not be used as an opportunity to shift towards a federal EU.
Despite widespread discontent across Europe, the prevalent tone at EU level is how to integrate the union further so as to avoid a second Brexit. That is a very dangerous stance, Dr Sant said. Those advocating a federal Europe are putting the cart before the horse when they should be discussing how to consolidate what has already been achieved.
Dr Sant, addressing a Conference on Brexit in Valletta, said the election of Donald Trump as US president is proof that globalisation has left too many people behind and will have an impact on the upcoming Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK.
The Trump phenomenon shows that globalisation has marginalised many people. This stream of thought is really gathering momentum. These forgotten people are now attached to the technology of mass media communication to the detriment of the mainstream politicians. This real political need to deal with the consequences of globalisation must be controlled and managed, and this will be the background to the Brexit negotiations, said the Maltese MEP.
Dr Sant said the Brexit negotiations will be very complex. EU member states are extremely conscious that their decisions could galvanise the far-right parties in their own parties.
The French socialists are aware that any misstep in their handling of Brexit will affect their internal situation vis-a-vis their handling Front National.
Germany is aware that the EU will lose the second most important contributor to the EU’s budget with the departure of the UK from the EU, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is extremely conscious that the rightwing populist AfD party will swoop on anything that Germany gives up to the UK.