French Politician Backtracks on EU – Calls for Independence from Courts

The EU’s previous tough Brexit strategist chastised his British colleagues for “cherry-picking” throughout talks. Now, he seems to have adopted Euroscepticism, insisting that France’s jurisdiction over migration be returned back to France from European courts.

Mr. Barnier, a previous European MP and French Minister of Foreign Affairs, is running for the presidency of France in 2022 as a member of the right-wing Republican Party.

He is Taking a Hard Line on the EU Courts

Mr. Barnier is running against four other hopefuls. He said at a party meeting in Nîmes that in order to manage a number of immigrants, France needs to regain legal sovereign power from the European Court (ECJ).

This also needs to happen against the European Convention on Human Rights (ECtHR) as well, both of which are part of the Alliance of Europe.

To paraphrase the 70-year-old Barnier on Twitter: On immigrants and refugees, we must reclaim our legal independence so that we are no longer bound by ECJ or ECtHR decisions. In September [2022], we will demand a vote on immigrants and refugees.

During the UK-EU talks, Barnier pushed for the deal to be subjected to the European Court of Justice. He furthermore pushed for assurances that Britain would remain a member of the ECtHR, which monitors the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Irony is Spectacular

Predictably, British political and corporate figures chastised Barnier; after all, he told England in May 2020 that now the EU just wouldn’t recognize cherry-picking in Brexit talks.

This criticism comes for only now recognizing that EU membership limits sovereign rights and making appearances to want to disentangle France from the coalition’s legal structures. One government representative told The New York Times that it’s fantastic to see that he considered [their] reasons so convincing.

Brexiteer Nigel Farage called Barnier the greatest hypocrite ever conceived in an interview with The Telegraph, while Tory Member Michael Fabricant blasted him of breathtaking hypocrisy.

That’s the same Michel Barnier who attempted to denigrate the United Kingdom in the Brexit discussions because it demanded authority over its courts and borders. Per the Daily Mail, Mr. Fabricant now says the same about France.

After a social media uproar in France, Barnier moved into ‘full damage control,’ writing appeals for “composure” and saying his plan for a ‘constitutional umbrella,’ will solely apply to the policy on immigration,” according to Politico.

As he initiated his electoral campaign on an anti-mass migratory launchpad previously this year, the presidential contender appeared to take a turn more toward nationalist sentiment.

Barnier started calling for a three-to-five-year hiatus on uncontrolled migration from outside of the Euro Zone; he also began criticizing the safety of the coalition’s outer borders, which he said was diminished to a “sieve.”

According to the Telegraph, Barnier would’ve had “little chance” of being voted ahead of Emmanuel Macron, the pro-EU Union reigning President, and Marine Le Pen, the nationalist National Rally’s experienced anti-mass immigration contender.