A Brexiteer has been ridiculed after he tried to intervene in trade talks by sending an angry letter to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Tory MP and ERG chairman Mark Francois wrote to Barnier demanding he listens to Boris Johnson’s negotiators and finds a compromise on contentious trading points quickly.
In the letter, which he describes as a ‘missive from a free country’, Francois says the UK has no intention of accepting EU proposals on fisheries policy, or the level playing field.
‘I refer you to the Conservative Party’s 2019 Manifesto – which I and all my colleagues stood on late last year – which made clear to the British people that we would have ‘a new relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation, not on the EU’s Treaties or EU laws’,’ he wrote.
‘In the spirit of honesty between friends,’ he added, ‘there can be no way that the European Court of Justice can be allowed to have any role in the UK’s national life after the end of this year.’
He then accused the EU of being an ‘undemocratic’ institution, before stating that Britain would soon be ‘a fully independent country at the end of this year, responsible for its own destiny’.
‘All I and my colleagues in the ERG have ever really wanted, is to live in a free country… We have come a very long way in securing this objective and we have no intention of abandoning it.’
The letter was posted by Andrea Jenkyns, a Tory MP and the deputy chairwoman of the ERG parliamentary group, on her Twitter account. It was quickly derided by those at the tweet was shared by others.
John Rain pointed out the irony in Francois’ statement. ‘So he’s cool with Cummings, the unelected man, running things?’ he wrote.
Damon Evans tried to image Barnier’s reaction: ‘Barnier: ‘Who is Mark Francois?’ ‘Have you ever seen The Hobbit?…”
Composer Miffy Buckley replied: ‘Did Mark’s mum write it for him, bearing in mind he’s still at the potato printing, Crayola-munching stage?’
Remainiacs’ Ian Dunt posted: ‘The last par is so staggeringly insane. I blame the parents, of course. You shouldn’t let little boys watch war movies at too young an age’.
Jonathan Hopkin wrote: ‘Mark Francois joining Michael Gove in trying to do satire. I think.’
Lee Anders said: ‘I’ve never felt sorry for Barnier until now when I thought of him having to wade through the thoughts of Mark Francois.’
Dawn Foster meanwhile asked: ‘How have the ERG not finished researching Europe, they’ve been doing it for ages?’
Francois, separately, was mocked after claiming he does fifty press-ups a day. Shortly after Johnson appeared to exercise on the front of the Daily Mail, the Brexiteer told the Evening Standard: ‘Believe it or not I do 50 press-ups each morning, before getting in the shower’.