Following the end of the UK’s transition period with Brussels on New Year’s Eve, the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator and Chair of the Brexit Steering Group Guy Verhofstadt said he believes the younger generation in the UK will one day “find their way back” and rejoin the European Union, and however, pleaded for the EU to keep its “arms and mind open” for Britain’s possible return.
“Whatever happens next, these younger generations will decide on their future for themselves. At some point, one way or another, they will find their way back to the European family.
“As from our side, all we can do in the meantime is try to find least-bad options to make the new relationship work. And I for one will always plead for the European Union to keep its arms and mind open for friends across the Channel, for instance by keeping Erasmus and other exchange programmes open for young Britons.
“This relationship was never easy, but there was always – and will always be – a lot of heart and mind in it. As a democrat and an optimist, I still believe these will win out in the end,” Verhofstadt said.
Although backlash from social media users believing to be Brexiteers poured out almost after his comment on Twitter with one Twitter user replying, “Nothing you can do. At least until next GE when you can see if a party is campaigning for a rejoin.. which I very much doubt will win.”
“The situation is very real now,” another user said. Then another added, “Thanks for all your help to get us out. You’ve been a real Leave asset.”
A statement on the New European quoted Mr Verhofstadt as saying, it “saddened and frightened” him that UK had chosen to leave the EU, while adding that, “No one in their right mind ever really believed closing yourself off from your closest economic, political and geopolitical partner would be a constructive thing to do.
“But some honestly believed they had the right to do so, and the only way to spectacularly reaffirm that right was through something spectacularly self-harmful and destructive.
“Still, it saddens and even frightens me to see how a great country can continue to belittle itself in this way.”
My ‘final’ word on Brexit👇🏻
Democracy is a way to start anew, time and again. To change your mind, when facts change.
Young generations will eventually find their way back to Europe… 🇪🇺🇬🇧https://t.co/Wydy15vDoV
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) January 1, 2021
While on the contrary the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said the “great new deal with the EU secured on Christmas Eve honours the most basic promises of the 2016 referendum,” while adding that, “We need the Brexit-given chance to turbocharge those sectors in which we excel, to do things differently and to do them better.”