King’s College London professor of European politics and foreign affairs and director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, Anand Menon, revealed the most crucial issues putting pressure on the European Union. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Menon said Brexit was low on the list of pressing issues for most member states. However, he noted bad-tempered stand-offs could soon erupt in the EU between western liberal member states like France and Germany and eastern states like Poland and Hungary.
Mr Menon warned the EU coronavirus budget will be one of the largest issues for the bloc and tensions may rise as questions arise on who shall shoulder the biggest burdens.
Mr Menon said: “To be honest I wouldn’t put Brexit up there with the top issues confronting the European Union at the moment.
“One of the problems we have in the UK is that Brexit has dropped off the agenda for European leaders.”
Mr Menon said the biggest issue could cause further divisions in the bloc rather than unify them.
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He said: “The big issue the European Union is facing now is economic recovery post-coronavirus.
“The thing that will dominate attention in the European Union for the rest of this year is this new budget that is being proposed.
“This budget will allow the European Commission to borrow money that can be used to try and kickstart a recovery in EU economies.”
Mr Menon also claimed there were long-standing issues in the bloc that would return post-coronavirus.
While admitting that member states may not have Brexit as the most important issue, he also insisted a resolution in the trade talks will have to be made.
Despite both sides arguing they plan to energise trade talks in the next rounds, little progress has been made regarding a new trade agreement.
Mr Menon claimed that both the UK and the EU will have to compromise in some areas if a trade deal is to be reached within the agreed timeline.