Mr Juncker, that was the most open, honest and truly worrying speech I’ve heard in my long years in this place. The message is very clear, Brexit has happened, full steam ahead. So new plans: there’s to be one powerful president for whole of the European Union, a finance minister with fresh powers so as you say yourself can intervene as of when he sees necessary, a stronger European army in a militarised European Union with a stronger and perhaps more aggressive foreign policy too and more Europe in every single direction and all of it to be done without the consent of the people.
Your plan to fight the next European elections with cross-European, pan-European, lists funded by the European Union, but not as you said to fund extremists means what we will find is genuine, democratic parties of opposition will not be able to compete in elections on the same playing field. It is reminiscent of regimes of old. Indeed the way you’re treating Hungary and Poland already must remind them of living under the Soviet communists when you attempt to tell them how they should run their own countries. All I can say is thank god we’re leaving. You’ve learnt nothing from Brexit. If you’d given Cameron concessions, particularly on immigration, the Brexit vote, I have to admit, would never ever have happened. Yet the lesson you take is you’re going to centralise, you’re going to move on to this new, I think, very worrying, undemocratic union. And you’re deluding yourself Mr Verhofstadt if you think that the populist wave, as you define it, is over. If these plans of Mr Juncker come to fruition, far from the populist wave being over, I doubt it’s even begun.