Thursday, 25 Feb 2021

EU a ‘second-tier actor’ on world stage now Brexit Britain free from bloc’s shackles

EU 'second-tier superpower' following Brexit claims Buiter

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Professor Willem Buiter explained the world experienced a net loss when the UK left the EU due to the diminished ability to conduct trade around the globe. He warned the UK will struggle with its bargaining power but added the EU is still behind many other world actors in terms of economic affairs. Professor Buiter added that the UK leaving the EU could allow China to have more bargaining power against the bloc. 

Speaking during a Youtube show on Narcissi LTD, George Galloway asked the Professor of International Affairs: “Where does the EU stand on the global stage?”

“Well, it would be on a second-tier after the US and increasingly China.

“With a diffused and non-unified voice speaking on key issues that affect+ 27 countries, I would say that the EU is now a second-tier superpower in economic affairs.”

Mr Galloway followed up and asked: “Will Russia and other emerging powers take advantage of division between Britain and Europe?”

READ MORE: EU lashes out at Ireland and warns of ‘payback’

Professor Buiter replied: “I wouldn’t call Russia a superpower, China yes, Russia no. 

“But remember, the fact that the EU is diminished by the UK’s departure doesn’t mean it is a corresponding gain for other regions and other countries. 

“There is a net global loss in terms of your ability to create wealth and to interact in constructive ways in a range of markets for a wide variety of goods and services.

“So I would say yes, the bargaining position of China when dealing with the EU has been strengthened by the UK’s departure.”

Vaccine ‘crisis managed terribly by EU’ says Charles-Henri Gallois

During the show, panellists discussed how the EU is faring after Brexit with Lib Dem candidate Jonathan Fryer warning that member-states are starting to go their own way. 

He cited Hungary who has made vaccine deals outside of the EU vaccination procurement programme as they are “fed-up” with waiting around. 

Hungary has made deals with Russia and China to import their vaccines and is the first EU country to make these deals. 

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Serbia has also followed suit as, despite not being part of the EU yet, they were expecting doses from the Bloc but have independently secured vaccines from Russia, China and also North America. 

The Balkan country was able to roll out its vaccine programme much quicker than the rest of Europe and has one of the highest population vaccine rates on the continent. 

Mr Fryer added that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be stepping down this year leaving a small power vacuum. 

He believes France or Italy will try to reposition themselves as the dominant power within the EU. 

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