politics

European leaders make biggest leap towards superstate in 20 years by agreeing to pool debt to fund coronavirus


EUROPEAN leaders have made the biggest leap towards an EU superstate in 20 years by agreeing to pool debt to fund their coronavirus bounceback.

They will hand Brussels unprecedented borrowing powers as part of a £1.6trillion rescue package signed off.

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EU leaders will hand Brussels unprecedented borrowing powers as part of a £1.6trillion rescue package — hailed by French President Macron as the greatest jump in EU integration since the euro’s 1999 introduction

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EU leaders will hand Brussels unprecedented borrowing powers as part of a £1.6trillion rescue package — hailed by French President Macron as the greatest jump in EU integration since the euro’s 1999 introductionCredit: AP:Associated Press

The backroom stitch-up was thrashed out without a single public vote after four days of wrangling.

Tory MPs said the deal showed Brexit came “in the nick of time”.

French president Emmanuel Macron hailed it as the greatest jump in EU integration since the euro’s 1999 introduction.

But the move sparked fury in the Netherlands, where Eurosceptics claimed Dutch taxpayers were being made “the ATM of Europe”.

Veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash warned the reform would lead to a Europe increasingly dominated by Germany.

He said: “They’ve seized the opportunity of this coronavirus fund to move the integration process forward very significantly.

“Underneath this there are serious implications for the people of Europe in what is an undemocratic forum.”

Ex Brexit minister David Jones added: “Had we still been a member, we’d have ended up taking the second largest share of bailing out countries.

“In hindsight more or less everybody, whether they voted to leave or not, will realise Britain has had a lucky escape.

“It’s a further step along the road to the creation of a country called Europe.”

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From left, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the summit in Brussels

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From left, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the summit in BrusselsCredit: AP:Associated Press
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives on military vehicle for Bastille Day ceremony 2020

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