The "breathtaking hypocrisy" of Michel Barnier

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is reportedly considering throwing his hat into the ring running for the French presidency in 2022.

However, his "manifesto", such as it is at present, appears to be little more than a ploy to take votes away from Marine Le Pen, who looks set to give the increasingly beleaguered incumbent Emmanuel Macron a run for his money.

Of course, fake "opposition" parties, whose sole purpose is to split the opposition, are nothing new - consider the plethora of "anti-Putinists" who run in each and every Russian election.

Barnier has attacked the European Court of Justice, saying that France's role should be limited.

In what can best be described as a "Farage-esque moment" he said: "We must regain our legal sovereignty so that we are no longer subject to the rulings of the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights."

British Conservative MP Michael Fabricant accused Mr Barnier of "breathtaking hypocrisy".

"This is the same Michel Barnier who during the Brexit negotiations tried to belittle the UK for demanding control over our courts and our borders. Now he wants the same for France," he said.

Barnier has also conjured up out of thin air a hardline stance on immigration, always a reliable way of winning the populist vote.

The man once described as the "the EU's resident lounge lizard" has struggled to find a role after his brief spell in the limelight as Brexit negotiator. However, former European Commission official Mujtaba Rahman said Mr Barnier was "embarrassing himself, and the rest of Europe".

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In 2018 Barnier stressed the importance of the EU's insistence that any Brexit agreement must include the European Court of Justice providing permanent judicial oversight over future EU-U.K. relations.

Breathtaking hypocrisy indeed!

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

He is a of member the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK, and the oldest in the world having been founded in October 1884

Gary's most recent book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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