Juncker insists wind is back in Europe's sails after 'sad and tragic' Brexit

Britain will soon regret voting for Brexit but the European Union will move on, the European Commission president has insisted.

In a speech setting out the future direction of the bloc, Jean-Claude Juncker said the UK's exit would be a "sad and tragic" moment but it was "not the be all and end all".

During the annual state of the union address, he insisted the "wind is back in Europe's sails" and countries were knocking on Brussels' door to do trade deals with the EU.

Setting out hopes for closer integration, Mr Juncker announced plans to increase passport-free movement around the EU, expand use of the euro and boost the number of member states.

But the hour-long speech, which ranged over areas as diverse as the quality of fish fingers to plans to create a super-presidency role, Brexit was given a notably short slot near the end.

Mr Juncker said: "This will be a very sad and tragic moment in our history. We will always regret this, and I think that you will regret it as well, soon.

"Nonetheless we have to respect the will of the British people. But we are going to make progress. We will move on because Brexit isn't everything, it's not the future of everything, it's not the be all and end all."


Related Articles

'Brexit Buffoon': UK tabloid The Sun tells Varadkar 'to shut his gob' in scathing editorial

EU chiefs back Irish threat to veto Brexit trade talks

Boris Johnson jokes about Brexit impasse during visit to Trinity College in Dublin

Theresa May pledges UK will honour commitments ahead of summit Brexit talks

More in this Section

Republican Roy Moore fights sex scandal with help of homophobic supporters

Crowds gather in Harare to march against beleaguered Robert Mugabe

EU 'threatens to hold back €5.6bn rebate' as Brexit talks deadline set

Mother of missing UK teen 'holding on to hope'


Lifestyle

A towering achievement: Exploring Irish castles and beautiful buildings

Books that belong on the gardener's bookshelf

The domestic flash of Francis Brennan

John Wilson touring with music made with Rory Gallagher in Taste

More From The Irish Examiner