United Kingdom will regret leaving EU, warns EU President Jean-Claude Juncker

Posted September 14, 2017

Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, announced this morning that the "wind is back in Europe's sails" and that the economy was "bouncing back" after a hard two years for the bloc.

Juncker also said there has to be "sufficient progress" in negotiations over the rights of EU citizens, Northern Ireland's border and the EU (Withdrawal) Bill before any post-Brexit arrangements. He also wants to see the European Union take on a stronger role internationally.

He said: "The wind is back in Europe's sails".

"We will regret [Brexit]", Mr Juncker said to the wider audience beyond the parliament, and I think [the British people] will regret it too.

He called for an EU summit in the once German-speaking Transylvanian city of Sibiu on March 30, 2019, the first day Britain will no longer be in the Union.

Any changes must be agreed by EU member states and the European Commission.

Europe, he insisted, "is not a fortress and must never become one".

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When you make the decision [on selection] there is always the risk. "To play seven games in 21 days is not easy", he said. Do you agree with our selection? "When you play against a medium team you know you risk losing the game [in England]".

Romania is due to take over the presidency of the European Union council in 2019, and is thought they will be a fully fledged member by then.

Turkey got a sharp reminder that European Union membership is nowhere in sight as a result of growing EU concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on political opponents and his bashing of countries in the bloc. "From the Brexit referendum, to the terrorist attacks, to slow growth and continued high unemployment in several of our member states, to the ongoing migration crisis, Europe was challenged in many ways". "The time has come to take foreign policy decisions in certain cases by qualified majority". He also foresees a "fully-fledged" defence union by 2025.

He will call for countries that are outside the eurozone and the Schengen passport-free area to join, they added.

The amendment would void all permits to pollute in the EU's Emission Trading System (ETS), which charges power plants and factories for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit, issued by a country leaving the bloc from January 2018 onward. Although he said enlargement is not possible under his mandate, he argued that the accession process must continue.

Juncker gave an insight into his vision for the EU's future and how he hopes to keep the other 27 member states together after a tumultuous period.

The Commission will propose in December ways to transform the euro zone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a broader regional equivalent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the the European Union as well as the creation of a double-hatted European Minister of Economy and Finance.