‘We’ll decide NOT you!’
EU in Brexit turmoil as MEPs plot to OVERRIDE Juncker's negotiatorBRUSSELS was plunged into Brexit turmoil today as the EU parliament vowed to override Jean-Claude Juncker’s hand-picked negotiator and seek its own talks with Britain.
By Nick Gutteridge in Brussels http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/767633/Brexit-news-EU-parliament-override-Juncker-negotiator-Michel-Barnier
Scorned MEPs said Frenchman Michel Barnier has “no mandate” to make a bargain with the UK on their behalf and instead prepared to unveil their own list of Brexit demands.
In a furious warning shot influential German politician Manfred Weber warned Europe's leaders they would be “well advised to listen to” the EU parliament, which has the power to sink any exit deal.
The conservative MEP also described the task of uncoupling Britain from the rest of Europe as “mission impossible” and said it will “create a lot of damage, especially for the Brits”.
His outburst marks the escalation of a growing turf war within Brussels over who will take control of the Brexit talks, with parliamentarians feeling sidelined in the process.
The European Council, made up of the 27 leaders, and Mr Juncker’s Commission have stitched together a pact designed to give themselves primary influence in the negotiations.
The Brussels boss personally appointed Mr Barnier, a former French agriculture minister, to lead the delicate negotiations over Britain’s future relations with the EU.
But speaking in Strasbourg today Mr Weber fumed: “Frankly speaking there is a mandate from the European Commission for Michel Barnier, but not a mandate from the European Parliament.
“The only parliament on the continent who will vote in favour or against [the Brexit deal] is the European Parliament and that’s why we define our own rules.”
He stressed that MEPs should be treated on an equal footing to the leaders of member states, saying their thoughts on Brexit were “equally important” to those of the likes of Angela Merkel.
And he added: “We are independent and everybody is well advised to really listen to us. We have to defend the ideas and the interests of the 440 million rest Europeans and that is what we will do for sure.”
Mr Weber, who is chairman of the powerful EPP grouping, was also scathing of the British electorate’s decision to leave the European Union in last June’s election, claiming Brexit will show people how much the EU has done for them.