EU on brink: Panicking bloc fear Italexit after it failed over Brexit

European Union 'empire should be disbanded' says expert

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Brexit was a huge moment in the history of the EU as the bloc faced the departure of one of its major players. It appeared to make EU leaders reconsider their approach, as Brussels launched the Conference of the Future of Europe – a series of debates with the goal of allowing people in Europe to share their thoughts on how the bloc could move forward together. Representatives from all three EU institutions said the bloc’s renewal project marked a time to reach out to citizens across the continent to “define a new vision for Europe’s future.”

The aim of the conference is to assess what reforms should be made to its policies and institutions.

Brexiteer and Tory MP, David Jones, told the Chopper Politics podcast last week the conference is evidence that the EU is “concerned” about other countries following the UK out of the bloc.

He was asked by host Christopher Hope about the possibility of Italy leaving the bloc.

Mr Jones responded: “I think they are concerned about it, and they are so concerned about it they have launched this conference on the future of Europe.

“They themselves are concerned about what’s happened as a consequence of Brexit.

“Interestingly we are hearing senior EU politicians saying that Brexit was a failure for the EU.”

Research by the European Council of Foreign Relations, published this month, found that Italy is among the countries with lower confidence in the EU due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Majorities in Italy as well as Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have reported lower confidence, or stable levels of low confidence, in the EU since the start of the pandemic, the researchers said.

However, Italy is one country where confidence in the political system of the EU has increased – the research found a decrease of five percent of the sentiment that “the EU system is broken”.

The other guest on the podcast, Peer Kate Hoey, predicted that Ireland will leave the EU.

She said: “While, sort of 15 years ago, everyone said we could never leave the EU, I believe that in the relatively short term, the Republic of Ireland will probably decide to leave.

“There’s a big debate starting there. And I think that is the logical thing to happen, that the Republic of Ireland leaves the EU, now they’re a contributor.”

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On Brexit, Mr Jones also praised the UK, saying that he has no regrets over leaving the EU.

He added that the UK was never an enthusiastic member of the bloc.

Mr Jones said: “What this country has achieved is the restoration of self-respect for the people of this country. We were always a semi-detached member of the EU.

“We were always really the awkward squad in any of the councils of the EU. And what we’ve now done is to recognise that we have a different role in the world.

“And I remember that it was [Charles] de Gaulle who said that if the UK is asked to choose between the EU and the open sea, she will always choose the open sea and we’re now choosing the open sea again.”

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