Brexit LIVE: EU mocks ‘isolated’ UK on 5yr anniversary – ‘Supposed to take back control!’

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On this date back in 2016, the British public took to the polls and voted to leave the European Union. After four years of negotiations, the UK has now finally left the bloc, a move seen as a victory by Brexiteers.

However, the EU’s single market commissioner, Thierry Breton, has claimed Brexit has proven to be an “aberration that has weakened and isolated the UK”.

Mr Breton said it is “hard to see” any concrete benefits for Britain leaving the EU and the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the multiple downsides.

He claimed Brexit was “supposed to take back control” and protect British citizens and boost Britain’s global standing.

However, Mr Breton said: “What we see is pretty must the opposite.”

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a Brexit trade deal with the bloc in December, there have been several issues, particularly with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Northern Ireland Protocol – agreed in the Brexit deal – is designed to avoid customs checks along the Irish border.

Mr Johnson threatened to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol unless the EU backs down on checks and restrictions.

Earlier this month, the European Commission said it was ready to “suspend” parts of the Brexit trade deal unless the UK ended its refusal to implement the Protocol.

Mr Breton also claimed the UK would have benefited from around £45bn of the EU’s coronavirus recovery plan if it remained part of the bloc.

He said: “If the UK was still in the EU, it would have benefited from perhaps £45bn of collective EU money.

“It’s hard to see how one country on its own can fare better than many, together.”

He also mocked Britain’s £14bn trade deal with Australia claiming UK imports and exports with the EU are worth “£660bn”.

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Mr Breton also said Britain looked “more and more isolated” but claimed the EU would not “abandon our British partners”.

He told the Guardian: “But they have made their choice.

“My job is to defend the single market.

“That means helping make sure the agreements that have been negotiated and signed are respected – fully.”

SEE BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES…

7.45am update: Priti Patel warns EU to treat Brits living in bloc fairly – ‘We’ve been generous!’

Priti Patel has warned the EU Britons are being denied work and healthcare after Brexit.

Ms Patel noted Government concerns over the treatment of Britons in Europe, with reports saying people have been stopped at borders and were not granted residency in some EU states.

Brits have had delays in receiving their residency documents in Portugal, and Italian town halls have failed to complete registrations of residency applications.

Writing in The Telegraph, the Home Secretary praised the UK’s offer of residency as “very generous”, pointing out the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) has been open for two years.

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