The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said that the European Union is not attempting to stop Brexit. He said that the bloc wishes to kickstart negotiations regarding future relations between the two as soon as the parliament approves the deal.
In an interview with a German newspaper, he stated: “It is being insinuated that our aim is to keep the United Kingdom in the EU by all possible means. That is not our intention.”
He added: “All we want is clarity about our future relations. And we respect the result of the referendum.”
A vote is now scheduled to be held in the Commons in the week starting the 14th of January, after Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, postponed it from the original schedule this December when it became obvious that it would not be voted through.
She vowed to go back to the European Union to get further concessions on fundamental issues such as the so-called Irish backstop, however, she has enacted no concrete change so far.
In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, Juncker said that the United Kingdom should “tell us what it is you want.”
He continued: “I am working on the assumption that it will leave, because that is what the people of the United Kingdom have decided.”
Regarding the topic of a second referendum, he stated: “That is for the British to decide.”
During the wide-ranging interview, Juncker also addressed the concerns regarding the tensions between the European Union and Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.
Over the subject of car tariffs, which have caused heightening concerns in recent months, he stated: “I trust him for as long as he keeps his word. And if he no longer keeps it, then I will no longer feel bound by my word either.”
Talking ahead of European Parliament elections later this year, he said that it was important to ensure that political rifts do no become too deep.
He stated: “We must not imply that the populists are right … they are just loud and do not have any specific proposals to offer on solving the challenges of our time.”