Great Britain

'UK will know what it feels to be alone' Bitter MEP taunts Britain in brutal Brexit swipe

Esteban Gonzalez Pons claimed the UK is facing its "blackest year in history" following the coronavirus pandemic as he insisted the European Union must help its neighbour. Speaking in the European Parliament, Mr Gonzalez Pons said: "Never in the history of the European Union have we faced so many problems at the same time. But never in the EU's history have we made such an effort to ensure that we have the funding available to save Europeans.

"Let's think about the UK here because it's leaving the EU and it will have no access to the recovery fund.

"Next year Europeans will have access to our common pool of debt taken on by all of us but the UK will not have access to that money because it will be out.

"Families are there for you and it's the same for the European Union.

"Now in the UK, they will see what it's like to be alone.

READ MORE: Poland fury: MEP Beata Szydło hits back in EU budget row

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Esteban Gonzalez Pons exploded in a fiery rant during the EU plenary (Image: EPTV)

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Esteban Gonzalez Pons claimed the UK is facing its "blackest year in history" (Image: EPTV)

"They won't have access to the recovery fund, they won't have access to the single market.

"If we can't reach an agreement and without Donald Trump, the UK might become a genuine economic island and that's why we need to make an effort because we feel links to them and because they're our neighbours.

"We need to help them to make sure the coming year is not the blackest in their history.

"Therefore, it's very difficult to understand why some member states in the EU are trying to block the recovery fund."

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A top civil servant has said he is confident the UK will be ready for Brexit by the end of the year (Image: PA)

It comes as a top civil servant has said he is confident the UK will be ready for Brexit by the end of the year, but the head of Parliament's financial watchdog said it all feels like Groundhog Day.

Cabinet Office permanent secretary Alex Chisholm told the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that there will "inevitably" be some disruption and that trader readiness "needs to improve further".

He said there is still "undoubtedly" time for a deal to be agreed, adding that some of the "apparently hard and fast time constraints" have not been so strict after all.

The UK leaves the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year, and without an agreement there could be tariffs and quotas imposed on trade with the bloc.


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Hardest hit by Brexit (Image: EXPRESS)

Any deal would need to be approved by the EU's leaders and MEPs, and reports have suggested an emergency session of the European Parliament could be held as late as December 28 to vote on it.

Mr Chisholm told the committee, the subject of which was UK Border 2020: preparedness, that the "sheer scale of the overall operation means that there are literally many millions of moving parts".

He said: "So many things have to change at one time that inevitably there's going to be some difficulties for some individual people as they adjust to the new regime, so that's the first thing.

"Secondly I think that, again, as our own risk ratings do highlight, trader readiness has improved, but needs to improve further, and particularly when we think about people looking to trade with Europe, to export to Europe."

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