A KEY European summit on how the bloc will proceed after Brexit descended into farce this evening as Poland vowed to veto the idea of a “two-speed” Europe backed by the most powerful member states.
What was meant to be a closely choreographed display of unity instead took on an increasingly chaotic air as Warsaw filled what has traditionally been Britain’s role as the black sheep of the European family.
In a bombshell ultimatum the country’s prime minister said she would block any attempts to move the project forward by allowing some member states to integrate at a faster pace than others.
Things then reportedly took an ugly turn at dinner as the move led to a blazing row erupting between Poland and France which has threatened to sour the EU’s upcoming birthday celebrations.
A visibly furious French president Francois Hollande apparently made a threat to pull the plug on funding to the Eastern European state unless it stepped into line, prompting Warsaw to run to the press crying blackmail.
The idea of a two-speed Europe, which has previously been floated by Jean-Claude Juncker, was given the seal of approval by the bloc’s four big beasts of France, Germany, Italy and Spain at their own private summit earlier this week.
But Poland, which is by far the biggest recipient of EU structural funds, fears that it would be left behind by such a plan especially given that it has not yet adopted the euro and has taken the drastic step of refusing to sign off on the Council’s conclusions.