Emmanuel Macron’s ‘new EU vision’ lambasted

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The French President said he wanted to create a “political community” that would mean closer integration with Brussels for countries outside the bloc.

He added that the UK would be invited to take its “full place” in the alliance to boost ties on security and other areas. But Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “Obviously, there are certainly no plans for us to do that.” And Brexiteers hit out at the attempt to bind the UK to Brussels again. Tory MP Peter Bone said: “This is a complete non-starter. Maybe the EU is missing the sensible input of the UK and wants our advice on how to run Europe.”

Former Brexit minister David Jones said voters did not back Leave “only to be stuck in the orbit of a sclerotic European Union”.

Europhobe Andrew Bridgen said Britain’s membership of Nato was more important for the nation’s security. In a speech in Strasbourg, Mr Macron set out his plan for a new EU-dominated organisation.

He said the “parallel European community” would allow the UK and other European countries outside the EU to choose their level of integration with Brussels. The call harks back to his previous attempts to create a multispeed Europe of “concentric circles”, with the UK in the outer ring.

Mr Macron said the organisation “would enable democratic European nations who adhere to our values to find a new space for political co-operation”.

He added that it would also allow Ukraine to increase its links to Brussels because the EU’s strict membership criteria means it will take “decades” for the war-torn nation to formally join the bloc.

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