Brexit U-turn Brewing? French Media Stir Controversy with Claims of UK’s Imminent Return to EU Fold!

Rishi Sunak’s Recent Collaborative Overtures with the EU Fuel Fresh Speculations and Unearth Deep-Seated Brexit Divisions

In a recent development that seems to be stirring the pot, the French media have speculated that the UK is on a slow trajectory back to the European Union. A piece in the French publication Le Point has suggested that Britain’s participation in the EU’s Horizon science programme might be a harbinger of a reversal of the Brexit decision, a move that has garnered ridicule from several quarters, deriding it as mere “wishful thinking”.

The provocative article penned by Luc de Barochez, headlined “Help! the English are coming back!”, explores the changing dynamics between London and Brussels, hinting at a potential rapprochement. He highlighted the recent decisions by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, including the significant commitment to the Horizon research programme, suggesting that the UK is realigning itself with continental Europe.

However, Conservative critics were quick to dismiss these assumptions as fanciful. MP Marco Longhi emphasised that while Britain has been engaging with some European initiatives, these steps are quite minimal and do not indicate a broader movement towards rejoining the EU. He insisted that any move to revert the Brexit decision would necessitate substantial alignment and agreements, an endeavour that appears considerably unlikely at this juncture.

Echoing Longhi’s sentiment, Mark Francois, chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), quipped that such assumptions were nothing short of a “French farce”. He reinforced that collaboration on mutual interests didn’t necessarily signal a retreat on the Brexit stance.

Despite the mockery from various Tory Brexiteers, some voices express concern over the shifting sands of UK’s policies. Ben Habib, a former Brexit Party MEP, warned that Sunak’s recent actions have inadvertently fuelled EU’s hopes of a possible UK return to the union, cautioning that the UK seems to be gravitating back towards the EU, a development that he perceives as a betrayal of the original Brexit mandate.

While the debate rages on, it remains to be seen whether the recent policy decisions signal a tentative step towards rekindling old alliances or if they simply represent a pragmatic approach to international cooperation in a post-Brexit landscape.

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