Macron says Brexit is the product of ‘lies and false promises’

Emmanuel Macron sparked fury today by claiming Brexit was the product of ‘lies and false promises’ in a bitter broadside at Britain’s departure from the EU. 

The French president lashed out at the UK’s decision to quit the block on the night it finally took place, more than four years after the Brexit referendum.

he used his New Year address to his nation to castigate the UK’s decision to go it alone after agreeing a trade deal which could damage the French fishing fleet – and his grip on power.

In the address delivered from the Elysee Palace, Paris, Mr Macron questioned the strength of Britain’s sovereignty following its departure from the European Union.

‘A few days ago, we reached an agreement to organise our future relations, defending our interests, our industries, our fishermen and our unity, he said in a video address,’ he said.

‘The United Kingdom remains our neighbour but also our friend and ally. This choice of leaving Europe, this Brexit, was the child of European malaise and lots of lies and false promises.’ 

His outburst came as a new era of trading with the European Union began smoothly as lorries rolled into Dover and Dublin ports, ferries set off for France and Eurotunnel officials welcomed the first truck into the UK just after midnight.

Drivers with the correct paperwork – and a negative Covid test – were waved on to Eurotunnel trains with little delay after 11pm GMT as freight travelled seamlessly between the UK and France after four years of preparations. 

Traffic is expected to be light over the Bank Holiday weekend before ratcheting up on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to begin 2021 in an upbeat mood today, insisting it can be ‘a year of change and hope’ following the horror show that was 2020.

He said that Brexit meant that good times could be on the horizon, along with hopes that new vaccines will put paid to coronavirus.

He even claimed that the EU departure more than four years after the referendum meant ‘the end of the rancorous bickering about ”Europe” that has bedevilled our politics for so long’.   

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to begin 2021 in an upbeat mood today, insisting it can be 'a year of change and hope' following the horror show that was 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to begin 2021 in an upbeat mood today, insisting it can be 'a year of change and hope' following the horror show that was 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to begin 2021 in an upbeat mood today, insisting it can be ‘a year of change and hope’ following the horror show that was 2020

This is the historic moment the first truck to leave Britain post-Brexit trade deal arrived in Calais at just after midnight UK time

This is the historic moment the first truck to leave Britain post-Brexit trade deal arrived in Calais at just after midnight UK time

This is the historic moment the first truck to leave Britain post-Brexit trade deal arrived in Calais at just after midnight UK time

French president Emmanuel Macron has told how Brexit is the product of 'lies and false promises' in an annual address delivered hours after his father denounced him

French president Emmanuel Macron has told how Brexit is the product of 'lies and false promises' in an annual address delivered hours after his father denounced him

French president Emmanuel Macron has told how Brexit is the product of ‘lies and false promises’ in an annual address delivered hours after his father denounced him

What they said: Tory Brexiteers and Nigel Farage react to the transition period ending

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage: ‘It’s a big moment in our national story and the end of a very long road for tens of thousands of us who fought against the establishment.

‘We celebrated on 31 January when we left the European Union – tonight we leave the single market and the customs union.

‘Yes, we spare a thought for Northern Ireland and our fishermen, but this is a moment to celebrate 2021 as an independent United Kingdom. It’s a shame the pubs aren’t open.’

Sir Bill Cash: ‘The victory is one for democracy and for sovereignty and it is a momentous moment which, by any historic standards, can only be compared in peacetime to what happened in the late 1680s and ’90s.

‘Which was the removal of the Stuarts, but followed by the new parliamentary constitutional arrangements which were enacted through the Act of Succession with the Hanoverians going on the throne.

‘But followed by evolution of modern democracy which was only ruptured, apart from war, in terms of potential dangers of conquest, but was actually only disrupted by our entry into the European Community on the false prospectus in 1972.’ 

Sir John Redwood: ‘I never doubted we would win the referendum. I argued that we were being good Europeans by stepping aside from their mighty task to create a United States of Europe.

‘We should wish them well and be friends with them, but the fact that the UK had refused to join the euro showed where our hearts resided – with the wider world and with national democracy.

‘Today I feel much relief that our country has been open with our friends in Europe and stated clearly we wish to be self-governing, whilst good friends and allies of theirs.

‘I look forward to 2021 as a year of strong economic recovery, where we can start to use the new freedoms and opportunities now open to global Britain.’

Mark Francois, chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers: ‘Tonight we get a chance to wave both 2020 and the EU goodbye, within an hour of each other.

‘After a truly terrible year and a great struggle for our liberty, it’s a marvellous example of a buy one, get one free.’ 

Peter Bone: ‘It has been a very long campaign and we’ve gone from being looked on as being strange people that wanted to leave this wonderful European Union by the establishment who have always held that view, to being able to campaign and get the support of people to defeat the establishment. 

 

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Mr Macron, who has grand ambitions for greater EU integration, launched the attack days after being blamed for holding up a Brexit deal with fishing demands.  

The French president was accused of using a ban on British freight, designed to stop the mutated Kent strain of coronavirus reaching France, to ratchet up the tensions in the Brexit negotiations.   

And Macron also used the address to defend France’s glacially slow rollout of coronavirus vaccine shots, pledging to pick up the pace with quicker inoculation to a broader array of health care workers starting next week.  

Only a few hundred French people have received vaccines in France after the EU regulator was slower to approve the German-made Pfizer Biontech shot than US and UK regulators. Almost a million people have received the Pfizer shot in the UK. 

And Macron spoke to the nation hours after his surgeon father gave an interview criticising his son as a ‘self-serving politician’ and a ‘great actor, a seducer’ 

Mr Macron assured that France is ‘first of all in Europe’ and added: ‘I will do everything to ensure we remain the masters of our destiny and our lives. 

‘But this sovereignty also acts through the stronger, more autonomous and more united EU that we have built in 2020.’ 

Britain left the EU at 11pm last night, four-and-a-half years after Britons voted by a margin of 52 to 48 per cent in the June 2016 referendum which was called by the then Prime Minister David Cameron.

The chimes of Big Ben rang out at 11pm – midnight on the Continent – marking the UK’s departure from the EU’s single market and customs union.

In his New Year message, Boris Johnson – who played a decisive role in the Leave campaign’s victory in the referendum – hailed Britain’s departure, calling it ‘an amazing moment’. He added the UK now had ‘freedom in our hands’ and ‘it is up to us to make the most of it’.

Referencing the end of the Brexit transition period, the Prime Minister said the UK would be ‘free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU’ in 2021. 

Mr Johnson declared in his message: ‘This is an amazing moment for this country. We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it.’

What they said: Tory Brexiteers and Nigel Farage react to the transition period ending

Sir Bill Cash: ‘The victory is one for democracy and for sovereignty and it is a momentous moment which, by any historic standards, can only be compared in peacetime to what happened in the late 1680s and ’90s.

‘Which was the removal of the Stuarts, but followed by the new parliamentary constitutional arrangements which were enacted through the Act of Succession with the Hanoverians going on the throne.

‘But followed by evolution of modern democracy which was only ruptured, apart from war, in terms of potential dangers of conquest, but was actually only disrupted by our entry into the European Community on the false prospectus in 1972.’ 

Under the post-Brexit agreement struck on Christmas Eve, the EU will give up only 25 per cent of the value of fish caught in UK waters – with a five-and-a-half-year transition period rather than 80 per cent over three years initially demanded by the UK.

French fishing bosses welcomed the deal after they had feared No Deal because they would have been locked out of British waters.

In his New Year video address from the Elysee Palace, Paris, Mr Macron questioned the strength of Britain's sovereignty following its departure from the European Union

In his New Year video address from the Elysee Palace, Paris, Mr Macron questioned the strength of Britain's sovereignty following its departure from the European Union

In his New Year video address from the Elysee Palace, Paris, Mr Macron questioned the strength of Britain’s sovereignty following its departure from the European Union

Jean-Michel Macron (pictured in 2017 with Francoise Nogues-Macron), 70, spoke publicly about his son for the first time since he entered office in 2017 and denounced him as a 'self-serving' politician

Jean-Michel Macron (pictured in 2017 with Francoise Nogues-Macron), 70, spoke publicly about his son for the first time since he entered office in 2017 and denounced him as a 'self-serving' politician

Jean-Michel Macron (pictured in 2017 with Francoise Nogues-Macron), 70, spoke publicly about his son for the first time since he entered office in 2017 and denounced him as a ‘self-serving’ politician

Economy to rebound at fastest rate since WW2 to rise 8% in 2021 

Britain’s economy will grow at its fastest rate since the Second World War this year as it bounces back from Covid, experts predict today.

National income is set to rise by 8 per cent in 2021 – fuelled by billions in savings that Britons are itching to spend.

And the Brexit deal is expected to further boost the economy in the coming months.

The upbeat forecast comes on the day Britain embarks on a new trading relationship with the EU.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said the economy would benefit from vaccines, the Brexit deal and Donald Trump’s departure from the White House. 

Signs of optimism have been evident since the Christmas Eve Brexit deal and were bolstered this week by the approval of the Oxford vaccine.The pound ended 2020 on a high, hitting its strongest level of the year against the dollar.

And the FTSE 100 finished the year 23 per cent ahead of its low point in March – although it is still 14 per cent lower than 12 months ago.

 

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The video address comes after his father, Jean-Michel Macron, 70, spoke publicly about his son for the first time since he entered office in 2017 and denounced him as a ‘self-serving’ politician.

However commentators have suggested that his father has become irritated by how the French head of state has portrayed his maternal grandmother, teacher Germaine Noguès, as the key figure throughout his childhood, according to The Times

His father expressed dismay at his son’s choice to allow magazines to photograph him along with sharing details of his private life. 

However Mr Macron, who is a surgeon living in Amiens, northern France, where his son grew up, added: ‘Emmanuel is a great actor, a seducer. That is useful in politics.’ 

Drivers smiled and waved to customs officials who checked their documents digitally before allowing them to cross the 31 miles between Folkestone and Calais by rail last night. In France the first trucks were met by the Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart. 

The first ferries between Calais and Dover and the UK and Ireland also arrived with no delays as Britain finally broke free from EU rules at 11pm on Thursday, just a day after MPs voted through the last-minute deal Boris Johnson secured with the Bloc to avoid a No Deal Brexit.

The UK’s ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn, said things were ‘running smoothly’ as the post-Brexit arrangements entered into force.

He visited the port at Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal ‘to see the situation on the ground’. 

However there were reports of a small number of lorries being unable to board at Holyhead bound for Ireland because they did not have the correct paperwork.

The seismic breakaway came nearly four-and-a-half years after Britons voted by a margin of 52 to 48 per cent in the June 2016 referendum which was called by the then Prime Minister David Cameron.

The chimes of Big Ben rang out at 11pm – midnight on the Continent – marking the UK’s departure from the EU’s single market and customs union.

Boris Johnson signed his Brexit trade deal with the EU as he brought the curtain down on four years of wrangling over the UK's split from Brussels

Boris Johnson signed his Brexit trade deal with the EU as he brought the curtain down on four years of wrangling over the UK's split from Brussels

Boris Johnson signed his Brexit trade deal with the EU as he brought the curtain down on four years of wrangling over the UK’s split from Brussels

The first cross channel ferry departs the Port of Dover heading for France, following the end of the Brexit transition period, from Dover

The first cross channel ferry departs the Port of Dover heading for France, following the end of the Brexit transition period, from Dover

The first cross channel ferry departs the Port of Dover heading for France, following the end of the Brexit transition period, from Dover

A police officers staffs the entrance to the Port of Dover, southeast England, on January 1 where they are checking drivers have documentation showing a negative Covid-19 test

A police officers staffs the entrance to the Port of Dover, southeast England, on January 1 where they are checking drivers have documentation showing a negative Covid-19 test

A police officers staffs the entrance to the Port of Dover, southeast England, on January 1 where they are checking drivers have documentation showing a negative Covid-19 test

In his New Year message, Mr Johnson – who played a decisive role in the Leave campaign’s victory in the referendum – hailed Britain’s departure, calling it ‘an amazing moment’. He added the UK now had ‘freedom in our hands’ and ‘it is up to us to make the most of it’.

Referencing the end of the Brexit transition period, the Prime Minister said the UK would be ‘free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU’ in 2021.

The breakaway came as the port of Dover was pictured completely devoid of traffic amid fears of immediate post-Brexit queues, with the traffic expected to pick up on Monday.

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