EU: Ben Habib slams Union for invoking Article 16
The EU has introduced controls on export of vaccines from the continent to Northern Ireland, amid a row about delivery shortages. Under the Brexit deal, all products should be exported from the EU to Northern Ireland without checks. However, the EU believed this could be used to circumvent export controls, with Northern Ireland effectively turning into a backdoor to the wider UK.
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster described the move as “an incredible act of hostility” that places a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic over the vaccine supply chain.
As the row intensifies, German MEP Gunnar Back has told Express.co.uk the EU is not just guilty of vaccine protectionism, but also accused Brussels of “unlawful” behaviour when it comes to its economic response to the pandemic.
At the end of summer, EU leaders, spearheaded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, struck a deal on a huge coronavirus recovery package after days of bitter talks.
The €750billion (£668billion) coronavirus fund will be used as loans and grants to the countries hit hardest by the virus.
The remaining money represents the EU budget for the next seven years.
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Mr Beck said: “The Recovery Fund is so expensive and unlawful.
“It is clearly against the wording of the articles 310 and 311 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU.
“They clearly state that the EU is not allowed to take debt on the financial market
“It is a breach of treaty. It is a breach of the EU constitution.”
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is one of two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union, the other being the Treaty on European Union.
Article 310 reads: “With a view to maintaining budgetary discipline, the Union shall not adopt any act which is likely to have appreciable implications for the budget without providing an assurance that the expenditure arising from such an act is capable of being financed within the limit of the Union’s own resources and in compliance with the multiannual financial framework referred to in Article 312.”
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French politician and Frexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois also exposed what he believes is the “ugly truth” about the package in another interview with Express.co.uk.
He said: “The recovery fund will be truly catastrophic for France.
“We will basically end up paying so much more than what we receive.
“And as a consequence, there will be so much more pressure to adopt EU social policies, such as the pension reform.
“Really, it is a total disaster. And all the mainstream media in France are saying it is historical and wonderful, but they don’t explain the real cost.
“All they are doing is this propaganda as if it is free money, but the citizens of France will foot the bill.
“Just like for the European budget.”
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He noted: “I can understand why Germany is willing to pay a bit more.
“They have an interest in keeping the Common Market.
“It is beneficial for them.
“But for France and Italy… it makes no sense.
“Italy has more return for this recovery fund, but for the budget, it is the same thing.
“They also pay much more than what they receive.”
When asked what the EU should have done instead, Mr Gallois claimed individual member states should have come up with their own recovery plans.
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