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EU diplomats fear rise in Euroscepticism after not giving the public enough, says expert


Oct. 11, 2019

EUROSCEPTICISM is feared by the EU after top diplomats have recognised that people do matter following experience with referendums and protests, a political expert Simon Usherwood has explained.
Deputy director of UK in A Changing Europe and politics professor, Simon Usherwood, said the EU “recognised people matter” and now know they need to involve the public more. He noted that it wasn’t enough to give the public a vote in the European Parliamentary elections. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Usherwood said: “You have to take more account of people.
“You can’t just give them the opportunity to vote in European elections and give power to the European Parliament and think that’s enough to do it.
“There have been enough experiences with referendums, with popular protests against various trade deals that the EU was pursuing where people were worried about the environmental impact or about damage to jobs.
“The EU does recognise that people matter and it’s also important to say that the EU is not just the institutions in Brussels.
“The EU is just as much, if not more, member state Governments in the 28 states.”
His comments come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed he is “on the pathway” to a Brexit deal following talks with Ireland Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Both continue to believe that a deal is in everybody's interest. They agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal."
Since the talks Mr Johnson has said the EU needs to be ready because the UK will leave without a deal if it absolutely has to.
Mr Usherwood recently warned there would be a return of pressure groups if Britain remained in the EU.
Mr Usherwood told Express.co.uk: “In the UK I think you would see a return to that widespread unhappiness about the way the EU works.
“I think even if you have a referendum and the vote it to Remain, it’s almost inconceivable that everyone will be happy and say, ‘that’s fine. We’re all going to be happy about being a member of the EU and we have no problems anymore.’
“If the UK doesn’t leave then I think you will a lot of the things you saw before the referendum.
“You had lots of pressure groups pushing for different kinds of things such as changes to policy or more likely, just about leaving.
“People will feel that they’ve been denied the result of the 2016 referendum and I think that will be a real challenge both for the UK and the EU.
“The UK staying in might be desirable in geo-political terms and strategic terms but in practical terms, the UK would continue to be a partner that has a difficult relationship with the EU.
“You would expect there would be lots of returns when every time there is a specific issue whether that’s on money or on budgets or on enlargement or a particular policy decision.
“This will be seized upon as how the EU is not looking out for the UK. I think that’s likely to be a difficult future for the UK if that’s what it comes to.”
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