Donald Trump and Steve Bannon ‘pose existential threat to EU,’ says chief Brexit negotiator
Peter Foster, Torygraph (UK), Jan 30 2017
Donald Trump and his populist advisers in the White House are one of the main three existential threats facing the EU, the chief Brexit negotiator of the European Parliament has claimed in a lecture at Chatham House. Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and arch European federalist who recently returned from a tour of Pindostan, said that it was now clear that Europe had “fewer friends than ever” in Faschingstein. The three main existential crises threatening Europe, Verhofstad said, were Daesh, Putin & Trump. He said:
We have a third front undermining the EU from within, and it is Donald Trump who has joined them from across the Atlantic. He has talked fairly favourably of other countries wanting to break away from the EU, and that he hoped for the disintegration of EU.
Verhofstadt singled out the ”enormous influence” of Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News founder who is now chief strategist to Pres Trump and was recently promoted within the NSC. He said:
Every European that I met in Pindostan had only one conclusion, which is that EU has fewer friends than ever in Pindostan today. The Trump administration has acquired European populist views from Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, whom Bannon is known to admire.
Verhofstadt repeated his view that Brexit was a “wrong decision” and a “disaster,” but said that Britain’s departure must now provide the springboard for the realization of his dream of a federal Europe with its own treasury and common defence forces when Britain leaves. He said:
Brexit is a golden opportunity not only to negotiate a new partnership between the EU and Britain, but also to get our act together inside the EU, and that second track is as important if not more important than first track.
The need to complete the EU political union after Brexit was made plain, he concluded, when comparing the effectiveness of Pindosi government on issues such as defence, border security and economic policy. He compared Europe’s tardy response to the financial crisis with Pindostan’s massive program of bank clean-ups, infrastructure spending and quantitative easing. Similarly, he noted that while Europe spent a combined 43% of the Pindosi defence budget, that money delivered only 12% of Pindosi operational capabilities. He said:
European defence is key for NATO, and we have to start thinking about NATO not as an alliance of a number of member states but an alliance of pillars, and that is the only way for Europe to make a more effective contribution.