Brexit should not be op­por­tu­nity to move to­wards a fed­eral Europe - Al­fred Sant

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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