0 554 0 S.m March 13, 2018
The European Commission President addressed MEPs in Strasbourg, kicking off a three-hour debate on Brexit in the European Parliament.
He opened the debate of the guidelines on the framework of future EU-UK relations by saying Britain will "regret" its decision to leave the European Union.
British MEP Nigel Farage laughed while there were loud cheers from other corners of the chamber.
Mr Juncker said: "On March 29, 2019, at midnight the United Kingdom will have left the European Union.
"Then will come the time when you regret your decision."
The Commission President demanded "extra clarity" from the United Kingdom, insisting EU was preparing itself for the divorce.
He said: "It's obvious we need further clarity from the UK if we are to reach an understanding on our future relationship.
“we are preparing for this on the European Union side.
“Last week, President Tusk circulated draft guidelines that will be discussed by the leaders of the EU27 next week.
“As the clock counts down – with one year to go – it is now time to translate speeches to treaties."
The European Parliament chamber remained lively with Mr Juncker receiving a series of heckles.
Upon branding Brexit a “European issue”, a voice from across the room instead yells: “It’s a British issue.”
Mr Juncker replied: “It is all for one and one for all, that is what it means to be part of this union.
“We pool our resources and our serenity to strengthen one another and to give ourselves more serenity with dealing with the rest of the world.
“We see this with Brexit, we see this as a threat, we see this across the board.”
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt started off with a similar address to the room, insisting both sides must “sort it out”.
However, he focused on Britain’s lack of an official proposal for a future relationship with the bloc.
He said: “The problem is, today, is that we don’t have a proposal from the UK of the future side of the relationship – it’s still lacking.
“It’s true, you’ve said there was this Mansion House speech by Mrs May, but it is mainly repeating the red lines that we’ve known already for two years.”
Nigel Farage returned fire, insisting “two-thirds” of the British people think the Commission is “bullying” the UK.
“Of course, they’re right,” he blast.
“The EU is bullying us, it bullies member states, it bullies its next door neighbour and even bullies the third world with its neo-colonial policies.
“Well, of course, it does because the Europe of the Junckers, Barniers and the Selmayrs is power without accountability.”
He then chimed in with Donald Trump’s threat of trade tariffs on steel and aluminium.
“At long last, you’ve met your match in Donald Trump,” Mr Farage added.
“You may well scream and shout about his aluminium and steel tariffs, but the EU puts tariffs on 13,000 goods coming into it.”
Another British MEP said the EU’s debate was “sinking much like the Titanic”.
Janice Atkinson pointed toward the recent to the Italian election to highlight issues within the EU.
“The resolution is the federalist delight and it’s business as usual here,” she said.
“Yet all around you, Rome burns! The populists are winning elections, kicking our the old guard, the very people who wrote this resolution.
“Across the southern EU states, there is horrifically high youth unemployment. In Italy, nearly 70 percent of the youth actually voted for populist parties.
“Yet, you come up with this framework that actually just reflects the old order, not the new.”
German MEP Elmar Brok and member of the Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group also took aim at Mr Farage for his comments regarding Mr Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs.
He said: “It’s only if we all stand together, including the British, that we have a chance to counter that policy.
“Mr Farage must’ve realised that he’s taking his country in the wrong direction.”
German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel continued his bid to attempt to achieve a new deal for Britain in order to stop Brexit.
He said: “Last week, the CEO of the port of Dover went to Brussels and presented his view of Brexit.
“He made it very clear, if the 10,000 trucks going in and out of Dover every day is only held up by two minutes because of Brexit, there would be a 17-mile queue outside Dover, and equivalent chaos outside Dunkirk and Calais.”
The German added that the remaining EU27 will endure a larger cost from Brexit than the British.
“In other words, it is very clear that Brexit remains a lose-lose situation,” he said.
“What surprises me, everybody except the Brexiteers hates Brexit, but there is nobody in this house trying to stop it.
“It’s time, Mr President, that you make Britain a new offer, and offer that Britain can’t refuse, an offer that gives Britain what they always wanted.”
Mr Henkel said the UK should have more control over immigration in a bid to keep them in the EU, a suggestion met by Brexiteers to his side.
Gunnar Hokmark, a Swedish MEP, branded Mr Farage the EU’s very own “mini Trump” as he responded to the Briton’s accusations of bullying.
He said: “It is his way of informing us that he now understands the consequences of Brexit.
“He understands when you’re leaving the internal market, you’re leaving it.
“When you’re leaving the common legislation, you’re leaving it.
“when you’re leaving the cooperation for security, you’re leaving it.
“I must say it doesn’t take a mathematician to understand the consequences of that.”
Mr Hokmark claims Mr Farage now blames the EU for his “propaganda”, adding; “That is so Trump…
“We need to be more grown-up than that. The European Union, the European Parliament, European Commission – we are, of course, a part of the negotiations but we must be more than that.”
He suggested the bloc should “take responsibility” and ensure the best for European and the UK “In spite of a disorientated government”.
Michel Barnier, the Commission's chief Brexit negotiator, sat in on the debate before giving a final summary of the discussions between Brussels and Britain.
The Frenchman confirmed "Brexit means Brexit" and the EU will be "implementing" the UK's divorce.
He said the bloc must "put things in the right order to prepare and construct the new ambitious partnership with the united kingdom".
Mr Barnier confirmed "all rules must apply" to Britain in the so-called transition period, but on the future agreement said there must be a "balanced" agreement on fisheries.
Last week saw the release of the latest set of EU guidelines of how the bloc sees its relationship developing with Britain post-Brexit.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, gave a speech rejecting Theresa May's "pick and mix" approach.
The EU, instead, foresees a deal based on zero tariffs for goods in return for existing EU access to British fishing waters, a customs arrangement that will minimise barriers to trade but entail “rules of origin” checks and other border controls and a limited deal on non-financial services based on the EU's free-trade agreement with Canada.

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