Emmanuel Macron was ridiculed after he used his annual New Year address to the French nation to question the strength of Britain’s sovereignty. Channel 4’s correspondent Paul McNamara claimed that address was a “mix of regret, sadness and bitterness at this divorce”. Brexiteers also lashed out at the remarks, with Tory MP Peter Bone claiming: “I guess president Macron doesn’t like democracy”.
The French president decided to issue a final swipe at the UK on the night the country finally left the EU, more than four years after the Brexit referendum.
In his address, Mr Macron told French viewers that Brexit was the product of ‘”lies and false promises”.
Speaking from the Elysee Palace, he said: “A few days ago, we reached an agreement to organise our future relations, defending our interests, our industries, our fishermen and our unity.
“The United Kingdom remains our neighbour but also our friend and ally. This choice of leaving Europe, this Brexit, was the child of European malaise and lots of lies and false promises.”
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In a report for Channel 4, Mr McNamara commented: “It has been an acrimonious journey to this point.
“France’s president has often been the most vocal obstacle, but last night Emmanuel Macron’s tone was a mix of regret, sadness and bitterness at this divorce.”
Remainers like Lord Andrew Adonis reacted by backing the remarks, tweeting: “Macron is right.”
However, Brexiteers took to social media to mock the French President, claiming: “The way that Macron is bleating means he is a very worried man!”
One Brexiteer tweeted: “Macron’s bitterness at Brexit finally being delivered is hilarious.”
In contrast, Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to begin 2021 with a more upbeat message, insisting it can be “a year of change and hope”.
In his New Year message, Mr Johnson hailed Britain’s departure, calling it “an amazing moment”.
He added the UK now had “freedom in our hands” and “it is up to us to make the most of it”.
The Prime Minister said the UK would be “free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU” in 2021.