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Principale » Jean-Claude Juncker warns Britain over Brexit - 'You will regret it'

Jean-Claude Juncker warns Britain over Brexit - 'You will regret it'

13 Septembre 2017

Brexit Britain will be the best country in the world to do maritime business with due to more trade opportunities, more jobs and more investment in new technologies, the UK's Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said. "Europe can deliver for its citizens where and when it matters".

With the rise of populism - after Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump - apparently at bay for now, and growth returning after the debt crisis, Juncker said there were reasons to be cheerful.

After fierce criticism from Britain over inefficiency in the EU, Juncker proposed that his role as president of the European Commission be merged with that of the European Council. His plan comes on the heels of a provisional EU free-trade accord with Japan and a week before a hard-fought European deal with Canada enters into force.

The "future partnership paper" sets out Britain's willingness "to contribute military assets" to Europe's security, as fears grow - in Eastern Europe in particular - about increased Russian aggression.

The European Commission President used his speech to call for a special summit of an EU of 27 member states on the 30th March 2019, the day after Britain will formally leave the EU.

"We will regret [Brexit]", Mr Juncker said to the wider audience beyond the parliament, and I think [the British people] will regret it too.

With the European Union under fire for policies perceived to be blocking migrants in risky and sordid detention centers in Libya, Juncker said "Europe has got a collective responsibility" to help improve conditions there.

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Twelve months later, that cloud is still there, and the European Union continues to be beset by a variety of problems.

While he praised efforts that have sharply reduced migrant flows, he said Europe must continue to provide refuge to those fleeing persecution.

He also proposed an European Union framework to screen foreign investments in Europe when concerns arise about unfair competition, particularly in strategic industries.

Europe, he insisted, "is not a fortress and must never become one".

Jean-Claude Juncker said such a minister should be also the chairman of all euro zone finance ministers and be accountable to the European Parliament.

Having had a say in how the system is shaped, most analysts believe that Britain will remain part of the system, following a similar path to Norway, which has companies that participate in the scheme despite the country not being an European Union member.