Her latest appearance on the Channel 5 show hosted by Jeremy Vine included discussion of those visa charges, which, as the UK is now a Third Country and no longer a part of the EU, means its citizens will have to pony up a fee of €7 per person. That the ensuing discussion would not be in the intellectually taxing category was clear when Vine took his cue from an article in the Daily Brexit, sometimes still called the Express.
The headline howled “Britons charged to enter EU ‘in revenge for Brexit’”, with the quote marks performing heavy lifting way beyond the structural capacity of the supporting material. It was explained to Ms Malone that the rules were the same for all Third Countries, that this did not apply just to the UK. But this proved hard for her to grasp.
“Why do they need to do it now, when they didn’t do it before? Why is it necessary to impose a £6 charge?” Two things here. One, it’s being done now because the UK left the EU. And Two, the EU is a rules based organisation, and those are the rules when it comes to visitors from outside the Union. Rules the UK helped to make in the first place.
Sadly, Ms Malone was not listening, having already concluded that it was the rotten EU Wot Done It. “This is spite and divisiveness on the part of the EU. And it’s a very odd move, considering that a lot of countries within the EU are very dependent on UK traffic for holidays”. I think she means tourism. But it was still the EU at fault for the UK’s Brexit.
“It also reaffirms in a lot of peoples’ minds that they were quite right to leave this controlling organisation”. But she did approve of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage’s idea that “we shouldn’t introduce the same charges to Europeans because we’re an open country”. This is total horseshit, and on more than one count.
The “controlling organisation”, to quote Ms Malone’s happy phrase, is, as I’ve already noted, merely applying its own rules. She wouldn’t try that smear on the USA, which also levies visa charges on international visitors, and nor would she quibble about paying them. Also, she seems to have forgotten that her own paper - the Express - was all in favour of visa charges back in May. Providing it was the UK that was doing it to EU citizens.
“Priti Patel's new border system charging EU citizens wanting to visit could bring in £300m … THE HOME Office is now considering charging EU citizens who want to visit the UK” cheered the headline. Clearly when their hero Ms Patel was doing it, it was just fine, as the piece continued in triumphant mood “The Home Office has said the new scheme is being planned to stop criminals from other nations from arriving in the UK”. Boo EU crims!
Many countries in the EU are dependent on tourism. But that tourism does not necessarily have to come from the UK. Once again, Ms Malone and her fellow Brexiteers insist that Brexit was someone else’s fault, when it was totally self-inflicted. Meanwhile, the EU has moved on, and has less and less time for its embarrassing neighbour. Sad, really.
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