relations between the EU
and UK have soured since the implementation of the trade deal agreed in December last year. The Northern Ireland Protocol has continued to be a source of disagreement for Brussels and London, the vaccine row earlier this year heightened tensions and fishing remains a wedge between the UK and France. In April, the European Parliament ratified the trade deal while warning that Brexit is a “historic mistake.”
The agreement cleared its final political hurdle and was backed by 660 votes in favour to five against, with 32 abstentions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson greeted the news by saying: “This week is the final step in a long journey, providing stability to our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.
“Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.”
But in February, European media hit out at the UK’s ambitions.
Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant’s columnist Bert Wagendorp celebrated the departure, saying the UK is “back where it belongs”.
He said: “Hooray! I like that the British are leaving the EU.”
“The ‘historic error’ of 1973 has finally been corrected. Why did it take so long? We could have known right away that it was a mistake to call in the perfidious Albion.
“For 47 years the British have done their utmost to sabotage, slow down, dilute and transform Europe into a market for Marmite and Pringles, replacing their lost colonial empire.”
He also implied that Brexit was an act of self-harm, claiming Britain had shot itself in the foot.
READ MORE: Verhofstadt’s rant about Brexit as he warned ‘UK now adversaries’
However, in Austria, the mood was more sombre as one newspaper editor warned the EU was losing one of its “main pillars” in the UK.
Rainer Nowak of Die Presse said: “The European Union loses one of its most important members, one of its strongest nations, the second largest economy, around an eighth of its population… one of the model countries for the successful integration of millions of immigrants. The Union loses one of its main pillars.”
Addressing those glad to see the back of Britain, Mr Nowak insisted that “good organisations not only allow internal criticism and debates, but promote them”.
“Leaders who fear contradiction are anxious and often overwhelmed intellectually,” he added.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed