Addressing the European Parliament on the follow-up to the British referendum, Mr Juncker called on the UK government to clarify the situation as rapidly as possible and stressed that we Europeans ‘are not going to halt our journey into the future’.
President Juncker addressed an extraordinary plenary session of the European Parliament devoted to the outcome of the British referendum, which was also attended by the entire College of Commissioners, including Lord Hill.
He said again that he regretted the choice of the British electorate but that he respected it.
He pointed out that in a joint declaration last Friday, all four European institutions had asked for clarity, a request he repeated today before Parliament: ‘I call on the government of the United Kingdom to clarify the situation as soon as possible’, he said, adding ‘not today, not tomorrow morning, but soon‘.
He also stressed that he did not want ‘anyone to think that there might be secret negotiations’. There will be no negotiations in advance: ‘no notification, no negotiation‘.
President Juncker went on to insist that ‘there is no need to change the fundamental principle, which is that Europe is still a project for peace and a project for the future‘.
‘We will not halt our journey into the future’, said President Juncker, indicating that the Commission would continue along the route on which it had embarked in agreement with the Parliament, in particular towards less bureaucracy in Europe, ‘a leading place for social Europe‘, a Stability Pact applied wisely, an energy Union, a digital Europe.
During his speech President Juncker also emphasised that the ‘founding Member States have no more rights than the others, those known as the ‘new Member States’.
‘I will fight for a united Europe as long as I live‘ he said, adding ‘now is not the time for this continent to fragment again‘.
Compliments of the European Commission