EU Council President flies to Albania to talk accession — one in, one out?

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readJan 25, 2020

Early yesterday morning, the European Union and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty which formally denotes the exit of the UK from EU membership at 11pm 31January 2020.

The Withdrawal Treaty signatories were.

Brussels — Charles Michel, EU Council President — appointed 2019, not elected by popular mandate

Brussels — Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President — appointed 2019, not elected by popular mandate

London — Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister — elected 2019 by popular mandate.

The final stage takes place on Wednesday next week when the 750 MEPs of the EU Parliament must approve the Treaty. In reality, this decision was already taken at a private committee meeting of senior MEPs on Thursday.

See what a waste of time the EUP is? Its there as eye candy, to give the EU semblances of respectability and democracy

Next Wednesday some tearful British Remoaner MEPs will vote against the Treaty, but it will pass anyway. How quaint and deserving that right at the end the decision was taken out of their hands in a backroom deal by senior MEPs who are considered the elite. Perhaps there is a lesson for them to learn in all this.

Once it was all signed and all the handshakes and smiles were done the Council President immediately flew to Albania for accession talks. One out one in as the saying goes.

Albania is one of several countries in the Balkans which are desperate to join the EU as soon as possible. Already they benefit from billions of pounds of free EU funding, but once they are members they will be able to access even more.

Fresh from signing the Withdrawal Treaty which will see the EU’s second-largest economy leave in just six days’ time, EU Council President Charles Michel departed Brussels for Tirana, capital of Albania, where he met the Albania PM. (The Belgian Charles Michel is the replacement for the Polish Donald Tusk.) would it be crass of me to wish Donald a special place in hell on leaving his position?

Yesterday President Michel tweeted:

“I am in Tirana with [Albanian] PM @ediramaal to discuss EU-Albania relations, the future of the accession process and the upcoming #EUWesternBalkans summit in Zagreb.”

Monsieur Michel then went on to North Macedonia where he met with its President Stevo Pendarovski.

“Gratitude to @eucopresident for the support to start pre-accession negotiations with North Macedonia. Let us all continue working towards the fulfilment of our strategic goal, membership in the EU.

President Pendarovski of NorthernMacedonia, 24 Jan 2020

Albanian farming
Albanian farming

Albania and North Macedonia are two of the poorest countries in Europe. They each have formal “accession status” with the EU.

The relative economic power of the UK compared to these two countries, which the EU Council President visited yesterday, just after signing the Withdrawal Treaty with the UK is enormous.

Albania and North Macedonia GDP $28 billion.

United Kingdom GDP $2. 829 Trillion

I confidently predict that British arch-Remoaner MEPs will be allowed to wail on excessively, in Wednesday’s EU Parliament session to approve the EU-UK Withdrawal Treaty. Hundreds of MEPs from across the EU27 countries will applaud each time, misty-eyed, as the likes of Claude Moraes (Lab), Seb Dance (Lab), Richard Corbett (Lab), Catherine Bearder (LibDem), and some other very odd British Remoaner MEPs make absurd and anti-democratic statements.

Readers can fully expect to see latitude from the Chair if any of these Remoaner MEPs run over their allotted minute. Such latitude is unlikely to be given to Nigel Farage or any of his colleagues.

The simple fact is that the British people in their very great wisdom voted in the largest democratic exercise in British history to leave the sclerotic mess that is the European Union.

Most EU27 MEPs are in denial about this, preferring to believe that the largest political propaganda exercise in British history was conducted by the under-funded Leave side, rather than by the over-funded and Government-backed Remain side. These MEPs get their British news from the Europhile Financial Times, Guardian, and the BBC, which explains some of their ignorance.

EU Council President signs away a major world power and flies to two tiny and costly new joiners

Some readers may feel that the trip yesterday by the new EU Council President, Belgian Charles Michel, to two accession countries was coincidental on the same day he signed the Treaty which will see the EU’s second-largest power leave within days.

It wasn’t. I have seen this sort of thing countless times from the EU. It is pure deflection, intended to suggest that the devastating departure of the United Kingdom is somehow of little consequence to the European Union.

It is partly for this reason that every time the EU tries it on like this, I produce official facts to show how ridiculous their charades really are.

[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | North Macedonian President statement | IMF |

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.