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Brexit was just the start! Finnish MEP says her country needs to quit ‘imperial’ EU

EU 'must stand on its own two feet' says Huhtasaari

Laura Huhtasaari was speaking the day after Brussels was accused of trying to “bully” Finland into ratifying its £650billion coronavirus recovery fund amid suggestions the Scandinavian country’s legislature might refuse to do so. With a two-thirds majority required, Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin remains confident she will secure an agreement - but nevertheless sought advice from European Council’s legal team this week about what happens if it gets blocked.

Ms Huhtasaari, a member of the right-wing Finns party, is a staunch critic of the EU who believes her country should follow the UK’s example - and said the events of this week had reinforced her views still further.

She told Express.co.uk: “It is important to understand that the EU is an imperial project, which aims to impose centrally made decisions on all its member states.

“However, the project about the creation of a real sovereign EU state is still incomplete.”

Finnish MEP Laura Huhtasaari

Finnish MEP Laura Huhtasaari believes Finland should follow the UK's example (Image: GETTY)

Sanna Marin

Sanna Marin, Finland's Prime Minister (Image: GETTY)

She explained: “On the one hand, the EU member states still have legal independence to turn down federalist initiatives.

“On the other hand, that would cause economic and political crises, as is the case with the EU Recovery Fund.”

As a result, the EU routinely puts pressure on the member states to stick to the “one and only centrally determined EU policy line”, Ms Huhtasaari said.

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France Emmanuel Macron

France's President Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY)

She added: “In this case it is Finland, which has to experience that its sovereignty has been restricted, de facto.”

Ms Huhtasaari warned: “Finnish people should understand that the EU membership is incompatible with Finland's real independence and sovereignty, and therefore even with a real democracy.

“The UK citizens, who voted for Brexit, had recognised this profoundly.

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Laura Huhtasaari

Laura Huhtasaari speaking in the European Parliament last year (Image: EU)

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (Image: GETTY)

“In my view, we should follow the path chosen by them prepare to withdraw from the EU.”

Some Finnish politicians have voiced concerns about the package of measures, which critics fear will trigger runaway public spending in countries in the south of the bloc, especially Spain and Italy, with members of the EU27 jointly responsible for the resulting debts.

EU lawyers yesterday told Ms Marin failure to ratify the agreement would simply lead to “unprecedented reputation damage and political pressure on that member state”, with no plan B in place, Finnish broadcaster YLE reported yesterday.

EU budget factions

EU budget factions mapped (Image: Express)

However, Wolfgang Munchau, of Euro Intelligence, suggested Brussels’ hardline approach could backfire by prompting a no vote said the move by EU lawyers could prompt a no vote in Finland.

He said: “EU is trying to bully a reluctant Finland into ratifying the recovery fund, for which a two-thirds majority is needed in the parliament.

“I think this is counter-productive – possibility in the short-run, certainly in the long-run.”

The £650billion funds will be distributed in the form of non-repayable grants and low-cost loans to the areas and industries which have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic.

Coronavirus figures worldwide

Coronavirus figures worldwide (Image: Express)

The European Commission has been granted massive borrowing, taxation and spending powers enabling it to run up £351billion in joint debt.

The money will be paid out as part of an overall package totalling £1.6trillion which includes the bloc's next seven-year budget.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is a driving force behind the recovery plan, having welcomed it as the biggest boost to EU integration since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

He is believed to favour more EU-wide taxation to pay for the package.

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