Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

EU sends ‘Halloween warning’ to Boris Johnson with bizarre trade ‘enforcement’ video game

Boris Johnson has spoken to Ursula von der Leyen says expert

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The post, sent from EU Trade, the official account of the International Trade Department of the EU at 7.30am today, declares: “Trade is not only about closing deals, but also about keeping track of the commitments we make with our trading partners. “And if there are unjustified barriers, we are stepping up our game. #AssertiveEU #EUTrade”

The associated clip is styled in the form of a vintage video game, proclaiming: “DG TRADE PRESENTS ENFORCEMENT TRADE PROJECT DEFEND.”

It features four avatars styled on European Commissioners – Valdis D, Sabine W, Ursula VDL and Denis R (a likely reference to Denis Redonnet, the EU’s Deputy Director-General), who is “selected”.

Players are then asked to “choose their arena” from “TRADE DEFENCE”, “ACCESS 2 MARKETS”, “SINGLE ENTRY POINT” and “TRADE BARRIERS”.

‘Denis R’ is then seen making his way through a dungeon attacking various animals, including a giant frog, while collecting money and unlocking a door.

The spectacle left David Jones, deputy chairman of the European Research Group, bemused.

Mr Jones, the Tory MP for Clwyd West, told Express.co.uk it was difficult to be certain the post was in reference to the UK.

However, he added: “There’s certainly an undertone.

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Can’t say for certain it’s aimed at us, but that what it looks like. Not sure what ‘stepping up our game’ means.”

Pointing out the video was “not a five-minute job”, he added: “Presumably it’s a Hallowe’en warning for the UK.

“They’ve clearly got a lot of EU taxpayers’ money to waste on childish nonsense.

“It simply underlines how wise we were to vote to leave.”

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Similarly, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib told Express.co.uk: “What a very odd tweet indeed.

“It reveals the inherently aggressive and arrogant nature of the EU.”

Mr Habib, a tireless campaigner against the Northern Ireland protocol and the bloc’s jurisdiction via the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said: “They do not hesitate to appoint themselves as judge, jury and executioner in all bilateral and multilateral relations.

“This superior aggressive attitude pervaded the entire Brexit process.

“It is also what is pervading their attitude to the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Meanwhile Pieter Cleppe, a Brussels-based research fellow with the think tank Property Rights Alliance, told Express.co.uk: “It is indeed hard to see this as unrelated to current EU-UK tensions over Irish Sea checks and the role of the ECJ.

“Still very questionable to have the top Court of one of the two sides serving as the arbiter.

“It reminds me of similar EU communication exercises, like Captain euro or the ECB’s ‘Inflation island’. All on the taxpayers’ dime.”

Responding to the EU Trade post, Blidaru Madalin posted: “Spending EU taxpayers’ money on such animations is a new low for the communication of the EU institutions.

“What were the costs to generate and promote it, @Trade_EU?”

CNN journalist Luke McGee retweeted the post, commenting: “Your regular reminder that the EU is totally normal.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the European Commission to offer it a chance to comment.

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