Brexit due to 'decades' of British blame: EU official

By AFP
Published: June 30, 2016
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European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, August 4, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, August 4, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON, DC: Britain’s decision to quit the European Union stemmed from entrenched finger-pointing by British officials and had nothing to do with a proposed trans-Atlantic trade pact, an EU official said Wednesday.

“In the UK, if you have a situation for decades where the leading politicians blamed all the errors of the world on the EU, you can’t expect to love the EU in a two-week campaign nationally,” said Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU trade commissioner, who was visiting Washington.

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“There’s also a need to reflect upon how they treat the European Union,” she added, remarking on the shock British referendum Thursday that supported a Brexit.

The EU trade chief was speaking to reporters after participating in an event sponsored by the Atlantic Council on the proposed US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would create the world’s largest free trade and investment area.

Malmstroem said the Brexit was not linked to the controversy surrounding the proposed pact.

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“Because of a lack of transparency of TTIP? No, I don’t think so, that would be a totally wrong conclusion,” she insisted.

Both sides have stressed a willingness to clinch the deal despite Britain’s looming exit.

At the Atlantic Council event, Malmstroem said that “the TTIP will survive the Brexit.”

“The rationale is even stronger now.”

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Prada
    Jun 30, 2016 - 10:39AM

    The older English citizens are yet to come to terms with their post-colonial status. They talk about making Britain “Great” again but without much appreciation of what made Britain once great. They had colonized large swathes of land around the world and sponged off their resources. Today UK is a fringe player in EU and that bites hard into the English psyche. Make no mistake, UK is still an economic and military power – just not a pivotal one.
    The only way for them to recapture their ‘greatness’ would be to get their colonies back. Trouble is, the former colonies have teeth now and they would nuke the dank, wet island to oblivion before you can say “Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill”.Recommend

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