Completed his mission, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner who led the team of Brexit negotiators since October 2016, now wants to turn to France to be “useful”.
Michel Barnier is retiring from the European political scene. The one who carried out the negotiations with the United Kingdom on Brexit on behalf of the Europeans now wants to be “useful” to France and, he added Tuesday, December 29 on France Info, to bring his stone to his political family, the Gaullist right. “I will use the energy that remains mine to work for my country,” said the former MP and senator, several times ministers in right-wing governments.
The European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement last Thursday on their future trade relations, just seven days before the effective exit of the United Kingdom from the European bloc.
For Michel Barnier, who headed the team of European negotiators since October 2016, this economic and trade Brexit, following the political and institutional Brexit already enacted last February, is a “relief”.
It is also an opportunity for him who displays his “desire to find the French because I missed it during these few years in Brussels” to return more fully to the national debate while the party from which he came, Les Republicans (LR), struggling to prepare for the presidential deadline of 2022.
“I am a patriot and a European, I have never ceased to be involved in the French political debate,” Michel Barnier told France Info. “I’ll see where I can be useful,” he continued without clearly revealing his intentions. “My only concern – I’m not nervous to tell you everything – my only concern is to be useful to my country which needs more unity, solidarity, justice, and also respect. , and I will try to add my contribution to my political family, which also needs to be rebuilt, to the French political debate, “said Michel Barnier.
“White hair” and “new ideas”
The former European Commissioner, who will be 70 years old on January 9, rejects in advance any criticism relating to his age. “There are people who have white hair who have new ideas and then very young people who have old ideas”, he said, before adding: “I have the same ability to enthusiasm, indignation which was mine at the time of my very first election (in 1973) in Savoy, in Tarentaise, as general councilor. ”
Can he imagine a national destiny after having had a prominent role in Europe in recent months? “I need to think, first to rest (…) and then to work”, he answers.
“It is not an individual and personal process, the moment is not that one, the moment is that of a collective game.”