Brexit: UK will ‘soon regret’ leaving EU argues Juncker

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Reuters

The UK will “soon regret” leaving the EU, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.

Mr Juncker told the European Parliament that Brexit would be a “sad, tragic” moment for the EU but that the 27-member union would “move on”.

“Brexit is not the future of Europe. It is not the be all and end all.”

He proposed an EU summit on the day after Brexit, 30 March 2019, in the Romanian city of Sibiu to map out the future of the European Union.

In his state of the union speech in Strasbourg, he called for closer economic and defence co-operation among member states and reforms to the single market.

Reflecting on the economic and political challenges that the continent had faced in recent years, he said the “wind is back in Europe’s sails”.

The UK’s departure from the EU, he said, would prove a “very sad, tragic moment in our history”.

He added: “We will always regret this. I think you will regret it as well soon, may I say.”

But he stressed that Brexit “was not everything” and the EU would move on.

Negotiations between the UK and EU are continuing although the latest round of talks, due to begin on Monday, have been put back a week to allow “more time for consultation”.

Speaking on Tuesday, former Brexit minister Lord Bridges said the UK must be “honest” about the “complexity and scale” of leaving the EU as well as the lack of time to reach agreement with the EU.

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