Truss right to be ‘suspicious’ of Macron’s pan-European club

Macron says that the EU is ‘stronger’ following Brexit

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Liz Truss is right to be “suspicious” about the proposed European Political Movement being spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, a prominent Brexiteer has said. The first meeting of the so-called “club of nations” is scheduled to take place in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, early next month.

However, while Britain is weighing up whether to sign up, No. 10 is understood to want more information before agreeing to do so, especially given “integrationist” Mr Macron’s close involvement.

Tory MP David Jones, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group, told “I think we need more detail.

“And that is what Liz is asking for.

“The participants are going to comprise more than simply the EU member states.

“I understand that even Israel is going to be there.”

Nevertheless, Mr Jones, the MP for Clwyd West, added: “It has to be a concern that the idea has been promoted by Macron, who is arguably the most integrationist of all EU leaders.

Our membership of the EU has taught us to be suspicious

David Jones MP

“We therefore need to approach it carefully.

“If too many structures are created, then there is a possibility that another supranational organisation is on the way.

“Our membership of the EU has taught us to be suspicious of that.”

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Mr Macron pitched the concept in May as a “new space” for co-operation.

He told the European Parliament in Strasbourg: “It is our historic obligation to create what I would describe before you today as a European political community.

“This new European organisation would allow democratic European nations to find a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, the movement of people.”

Pointedly, he added: “Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future EU membership.

“Nor would it be closed to those who left it.”

All 27 members of the EU are set to be invited to join together with Britain, Ukraine, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Six Western Balkans nations will also be approached, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Ms Truss and Mr Macron will work together to reduce volatility in the energy market and cut costs for households facing soaring bills, a Downing Street spokesman said on Tuesday.

They explained: “As our people face a difficult winter with huge uncertainty of energy supply and the cost of living, the Prime Minister and President Macron underscored the importance of working together to end reliance on Russian energy and strengthen energy security.”

“We must continue to demonstrate to Putin that his economic blackmail over energy and food supplies will not succeed.”

Ms Truss, who replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister two weeks earlier, met Mr Macron at the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.

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