You say goodbye and I say hello, Juncker tells UK

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You say goodbye and I say hello, Juncker tells UK
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:15:39 PM »
You say goodbye and I say hello, Juncker tells UK
By Georgi Gotev
Who knew? Juncker said today that once the British have left under Article 50, there is still Article 49, which allows a return to membership, and that he would like that to happen.
“I still feel the exit of Britain is a catastrophe, yes, a defeat we all have to take responsibility for,” Juncker said.
This statement comes only 24 hours after Council President Donald Tusk said that the hearts of the Europeans are still open for the Brits, should there be a change of heart among them about Brexit.
The two messages are hardly a coincidence. They are also intriguing. Juncker is known as one of those who believe that Brexit is a good riddance. As a federalist, the Luxembourger saw Brexit more as an opportunity than a crisis, and a chance to advance with difficult but important dossiers, such as European defence and the emancipation of the continent from the United States.
More than this, Juncker has always seen the Brits as a danger to the European project. In 2015, he bravely fought to prevent Grexit and he once said that if Greece leaves, the Anglo-Saxons will try to break up the eurozone.
If Juncker had fought for Brexit as hard as he did for Grexit, Brexit might not have happened at all. But Greece is in the eurozone and its unravelling was an existential crisis for the EU as a whole.
We can assume that Tusk, as a Central European, sincerely regrets Brexit and nourishes hopes that a miracle, or a second referendum, would prevent Britain from leaving on 29 March 2019. Conversely, Juncker would prefer to see the UK leave – the Brits would then realise what they have lost and the country would reapply for membership. This would give the Union time to evolve.
Brexit will most certainly take place under Juncker’s watch. But after 2019, it will be someone else who might tell the UK “Get back to where you once belonged”.
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