“Brexit is not only about Brexit. Let’s give rebirth to our European project.”, Guy Verhofstadt
During today’s debate about Brexit, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt called on his colleagues to use Brexit as a new starting point for a rebirth of the European project.
He said: “The relationship between Britain and Europe was never easy. It was never a love affair and certainly not wild passion. It was more a marriage of convenience.
But it wasn’t a failure. Not for Europe and certainly not for Britain. It entered the Union as the “sick man of Europe” and, thanks to the single market, came out on the other side. We must pay tribute to Britain’s immense contributions: a staunch, unmatched defender of free markets and civil liberties.”
“I am sure that one day there will be a young man or woman who will try again, who will lead Britain into the European family once again. A young generation that will see Brexit for what it really is: a catfight in the Conservative party that got out of hand, a loss of time, a waste of energy, a stupidity.”
“Let’s in this new venture always remember our common bonds, our common culture, our shared values, our joint heritage and history. Let’s never forget that together we belong to the same great European civilization that spreads its wings from the Atlantic port of Bristol to the mighty river Volga.”
“But Brexit is not only about Brexit. It is also about our capacity to give rebirth to our European project. Europe is in need of radical change. Change towards a real Union, an effective Union, a Union based on values and the real interests of our citizens. A union that stands up against autocrats who close down universities, who throw journalists in jail, who make corruption their trademark and who bomb innocent men, women and children with chemical weapons.”
“Let us never forget why our founding fathers launched the European project: freedom, justice and peace. That is still worth fighting for.”
Please find the full speech here.