The European Union economies have all had a “massive wake-up call” following the collapse of their economies across the bloc, according to Richard Tice, the businessman and chairman of the Brexit Party. The former MEP told Brexit Watch that the eurozone will struggle to hold itself together in the coming years. This comes ahead of next week’s crunch EU summit that will try to decide the bloc’s next seven-year budget.
Brexit Watch’s Jonathan Saxty remarked that the EU had “hardly covered itself in glory” during the crisis.
He explained: “We had the corona-bonds debacle. We had the German constitution court ruling, borders slamming shut, medical exports being banned, the 500 billion euro Franco-German bailout package opposed by the Frugal Four.
“We have seen the insanity of a common currency not backed up by a common government.”
Mr Tice said that the EU had been “completely useless” and many countries “felt abandoned by the EU” during the crisis.
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He said: “When the pressure is on and the chips are down, all individual member-stars looked after themselves.
“There was massive panic across the bloc and the EU was left floundering in the distance.
“Lots of nations had a massive wake-up call. Economically, I was worried before the crisis.
“It is clear that there is a two-speed Europe, between the Mediterranean southern states and the higher-growth more cautious northern states.
Earlier this week, the European Commission confirmed that the eurozone economy will sink deeper into recession than previously thought
The bloc will contract a record 8.7 percent this year before growing 6.1 percent in 2021, with France, Italy and Spain struggling the most.
With EU economies in free fall, European Council President Charles Michel has outlined ways to come to an agreement at next week’s EU summit.
Mr Michel presented a long-term EU budget of 1.074 trillion euros (£961.23bn) and a recovery fund of 750 billion euros for pandemic-hammered economies, with two-thirds of that to be in the form of free grants and a third issued as repayable loans.
It is a smaller joint EU budget for 2021-27 than previously envisioned.