Brexit 'a stupid decision' says top EU official

Written by John Ashmore on 5 September 2017 in News

EU officials talk tough on Brexit amid rumours Theresa May will make a speech on 21 September on the UK's position

Brexit - PA

One of the European Commission's top officials has described Brexit as a "stupid decision" and said the British people could still choose to reverse it.

The comments from Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, risk inflaming the already fractious relationship between the UK and EU negotiating teams.

“Brexit is bad, and it’s a stupid decision," Selmayr told a conference in Brussels yesterday. 

But he admitted it was unlikely there would be any change of heart now the process of leaving has begun.

"The only people who can reverse it would be the British people and I am not a dreamer, I am a realist. Brexit will happen on March 29, 2019," he said.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier risked the ire of eurosceptics over the weekend after he was reported as saying Brussels would "educate" Britain about the importance of the single market. 

Barnier insisted in a tweet yesterday that he had not been talking about the UK specifically, but wanted to make clear the benefits of free trade in the bloc "in all countries".

Meanwhile Guy Verhofstadt MEP, the European Parliament's chief negotiator, said the next round of Brexit negotiations will be delayed by an "important intervention" by Theresa May on 21 September.

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