The moment the UK parliament approves Brexit, Brussels will start negotiating future ties. So said European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
“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. All we want is clarity about our future relations. And we respect the result of the referendum.” Juncker told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Juncker said the EU was ready to start negotiating a new deal with Britain right after the British parliament approves the divorce deal. A vote is now due in the week starting January 14.
He also said Britain should get its act together.
“And then tell us what it is you want,” he said. “I am working on the assumption that it will leave, because that is what the people of the United Kingdom have decided,” he added, refusing to be drawn into whether Britain would hold a second Brexit vote. “That is for the British to decide.”
Trump on trade
Juncker was also asked about US President Donald Trump. “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,” Juncker told Welt am Sonntag.
He also said Europe had to stand united “in combating the trolls and hacker groups from China or Russia” that could seek to sway the European vote.