Mr Hannan had represented South East England since July 1999. Writing a column piece in The Telegraph, he said that coronavirus had put the project into intensive care. He explained: “While surpluses of medical equipment piled up in Germany, Italy was forced to turn to China for help.
“A bloc notionally devoted to trade liberalisation imposed export bans. Even the EU’s closest partners were frozen out.
“A visibly shaken Aleksandar Vucic, the president of Serbia, took to the airwaves to tell his countrymen that they had been thrown under the bus.
“The EU, he said, having for years set conditions that effectively forced Serbia to bid for European rather than non-European contracts, had now excluded Serbia from its markets.
“Only the Chinese would send medical equipment.”
Dan Hannan says coronavirus has exposed flaws in the EU
Belgrade is one of several countries negotiating for potential EU membership, the others are Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey.
Mr Hannan continued: “The European Commission pleaded with national governments to act together, but no one was listening.
“For as long as I can remember, Euro-enthusiasts have spoken of the need for Europe to unite so as to square up to someone-or-other.”
He pointed out the EU removed public statements on coronavirus on China’s request, a move which the EU has admitted was wrong.
Ursula von der Leyen is leader of the European Commision
The European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson Virginie Battu-Henriksson said: “This decision, taken under great time pressure, was not the right one to take.
“This has been made clear to the ambassador.”
On Beijing ambassador Nicolas Chapuis, she added, however, he “continues to have our confidence” as he “is an outstanding expert of China and thus an asset for the EEAS.”
Emmanuel Macron also warned fellow EU states the bloc may be under threat if richer northern states are seen to get away from the cost of the crisis at the expense of the southern states.
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Italy has been badly affected by coronavirus
Mr Hannan agreed, pointing out Italy, which was struck worst in its industrial heartland, is now heavily in debt.
Rome’s 2018 debt was 134.8 percent of GDP, France was at 9.4 percent while Germany was at 61.9 percent.
Mr Hannan’s piece concluded: “Coronavirus has sent the European project into intensive care.
“It may eventually struggle back, but it will be an altogether more feeble entity.
“The League of Nations, after all, limped on for a further 13 years after its effective destruction in 1933, when Germany and Japan withdrew.
“So, likewise, the EU may continue to survive rather as the late Holy Roman Empire survived – a shell, a title, a memory. But, whatever happens, the nation-state is back.”
Coronavirus related artwork in Barcelona
The League of Nations was founded after the First World War, the first intergovernmental alliance, with an aim of protecting world peace.
Historians criticise it for a number of reasons including the lack of US membership due to a non-interventionist Congress and a lack of an army to enforce resolutions.
It failed to stop Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia and Japan’s invasion of Manchuria.