EU must be ready to send Brexit aid to Britain, says former Finnish PM

The European Union must stand ready to send aid to Britain when it is crippled by food and supply shortages due to Brexit, the former Finnish PM has said.

Alexander Stubb, who unsuccessfully ran for the presidency of the European Commission in 2019, said the EU should help a struggling UK, even if it was all Britain’s fault.

He said: “If the EU played its cards right, it would offer assistance to the UK now or later when the supply of basic goods and services deteriorates.

“This is what friends do, even though the pain has been self-inflicted, stupid, and unnecessary.”

Mr Stubb, who ruled Finland for 11 months and served as the country’s finance minister, predicted that the only way to save Britain would be to renew closer ties with the EU.

The former MEP and vice-president of the European Investment Bank suggested the aid offer could attempt to bring the UK back into the fold.

Mr Stubb’s comments echo a widely held view in Brussels that the fuel, supply and truck driver shortages that have hit the UK are a direct consequence of the decision to leave the EU and its single market.

EU diplomats say Northern Ireland has not faced similar problems because a Brexit treaty keeps it in the single market.

Mr Stubb, well known for his predilection for Iron Man endurance competitions, said things would only get worse for the UK as it stayed away from its former EU allies.

“Sorry, but the situation in the UK is going from bad to worse with no respite in sight,” said the 53-year-old.

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