‘Embarrassment for EU!’ Verhofstadt sparks backlash after stepping in over Brussels crisis

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Both nations are currently at loggerheads with the bloc over an investigation into controversial legal reforms which Brussels claims undermine the independence of judiciaries and media. The EU is threatening to attach conditions to the handout of EU grants in a move which has enraged both Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki, the Prime Ministers of Hungary and Poland respectively.

Speaking in Budapest yesterday, they warned they were ready to veto the EU’s £1.6trillion budget unless Brussels relents.

However, MEP Mr Verhofstadt, who was the European Parliament’s Brexit representative, tweeted: “No, Mr Orbán and Mr Morawiecki, the rule of law is not a question of sovereignty or subsidiarity but a founding principle of the European Union to protect our citizens.

“That’s why Poland and Hungary signed up to it when they joined.

I am proud to be an Englishman and from the Country that told you all to get lost

Jimmy E Moorby

“And why it is non-negotiable now!”

His post prompted a mixed reaction on Twitter.

Angry at the EU not going far enough, Antonio Santo asked: “How much longer before the EU puts these people in their place?

Ted Loch-Temzelides added: “Such an embarrassment for the EU.

“There should be a mechanism for kicking Hungary and Poland out of the block as they are sinking more and more towards authoritarianism. Where does the EU draw the line?”

But, some commentators appeared to attack the MEP over the EU’s demands.

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JimmyEMoorby commented: “I am proud to be an Englishman and from the country that told you all to get lost.

“I have no doubt you will try to bully us and demoralize us in the coming years but we will win.”

Steve Hills added: “Hmmm. A sovereign state being ‘stopped’ from disagreeing eh.

“Christ I’m glad we’re nearly shot of the EU.”

Made in Devon 63, wrote: “The moral of the story is never, ever sign up to anything remotely connected with the EU because they will stitch you up and rip you off. That’s why we left.”

Other critics asked why Mr Verhofstadt felt he had the right to tell the two eastern European nations what to do.

Jacek Wiscicki asked: “Who are you to decide for Poland and Hungary?”

Schwimm Richtung added: “They do have a law in Hungary and it rules there. Problem solved.”

Mr Verhofstadt was not without his supporters though.

Arne Visser said: “Thanks for holding up the EU values strongly!

“For Poland & Hungary it is a matter of (painful) time before the regimes get voted out by the younger, more democratic values oriented generations, understanding that only TOGETHER in a strong EU we’re able to face the many challenges!”

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