'Michel Barnier was humiliated today as EU politicians rudely ignored his Brexit speech to a conference in Finland.
Members of the centre-right EPP group chatted among themselves as the Frenchman tried to deliver a stark message about the threats to the bloc's future.
At one point German MEP Manfred Weber stood up and posed for photographs right in front of Mr Barnier - while Angela Merkel walked out half way through.
The behaviour was so bad that Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov later berated delegates from the stage, complaining that Mr Barnier was updating them on a Brexit process that 'could provoke a huge cataclysm' but they were 'not interested to hear him'.
The extraordinary situation developed at the EPP's gathering in Helsinki, attended by a slew of national leaders as well as commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Mr Barnier.
The EU negotiator was given a prime slot to talk about progress with Brexit and the future of the bloc.
But amid an astonishing show of bad manners, he struggled to be heard as he warned of the need to fight against forces seeking to 'demolish' the European project.
'There is now a Farage in every country,' Mr Barnier said.
'The European project is fragile, it is under threat, it is perishable and at the same time it is vital,' Mr Barnier said.
He warned that by the middle of the century, Germany would be the only European country with an economy large enough to sit among the G8 group in its own right.
'We must forcefully defend and promote our European model,' said Mr Barnier. 'If we don't write the rules of the game, China will write them for us. We want a Europe that brings opportunities for everyone... a renewed social market economy.'
Read more: Humiliation for Barnier as EU politicians IGNORE his Brexit speech at conference in Finland - and Merkel walks out halfway through
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