Brexit: EU chief Juncker warns United Kingdom 'will regret it'

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

"We are asking David Davis whether the government is prepared to continue making contributions to the European Union budget after Brexit to ensure EDF funding is not lost".

In his annual state of the EU address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Juncker reiterated his expectation that there will not be any EU enlargement during his term in office, which ends in 2019.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a flagship speech Wednesday that the "wind is back in Europe's sails" after last year's shock Brexit vote, an act he insisted Britain would regret.

But his call for increased cooperation will be balanced with the need to heal a deepening split with eastern European countries that resist any move to further integration.

Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament, told The Independent that there can not be a "trade-off" using security.

"When I stood before you this time past year, I had a somewhat easier speech to give".

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Juncker's spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the speech would feature a "reflection on the progress made in the last year" while Juncker "will lay out the programme for the year ahead and until the end of the mandate" in late 2019.

Ministers will say today that Britain's security will always be "indivisibly linked" with Europe as the government pledges to continue supplying United Kingdom troops, technology and intelligence to European Union defence missions after Brexit.

During his defiant speech, Juncker demanded the bloc's enlargement to the east and the adoption of the euro by every European Union country.

Reuters quoted diplomatic sources as suggesting that there could be a hold-up of a week in the talks for an event in the UK's "domestic political calendar". After Japan on the trade front, Australia, New Zealand and South America are next in Brussels' sights for rapid new agreements.

He will call for countries that are outside the eurozone and the Schengen passport-free area to join, they added.

But its usefulness as leverage to push talks forward could be limited by the acknowledgement in the paper that Britain also benefits from security and intelligence sharing. Around the same time, several members of the European Union expressed growing discontent over how to handle the migrant crisis, while euroskeptic right-wing parties in several member states gained support.

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