Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

EU boss: Britain will soon REGRET voting for 'sad and tragic' Brexit

EU boss: Britain will soon REGRET voting for 'sad and tragic' Brexit

Following a July agreement for an European Union trade deal with Japan, Juncker said the Commission - the bloc's executive arm - would now open free-trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

This comes on the heels of a provisional free-trade accord with Japan and a week before a European deal with Canada enters into force.

In the EU's equivalent of a USA president's State of the Union address, Juncker pledged to wrap up trade talks with Mexico and Brazil and proposed limiting China's ability to buy up European companies in infrastructure, hi-tech manufacturing and energy.

Western Balkan states should have a realistic chance of joining the European Union after 2019 but Turkey's abuse of fundamental rights rules out it joining in the foreseeable future.

Setting out hopes for closer integration, Mr Juncker announced plans to increase passport-free movement around the European Union, expand use of the euro and boost the number of member states.

Predictably, he ruled out any European Union membership perspective for Turkey in the near future, citing the recent purges in the country.

Last year, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker had little to cheer about in his flagship address before the European Parliament.

In the same speech Mr Juncker said he believed Britain would come to "regret" leaving the EU, and that the union would move on without the UK. "The wind is back in Europe's sails, it now has a window of opportunity".

Junior Cert: 2400 Tipperary students anxiously await their results
FOR 61,654 JUNIOR Certificate students the wait is over today. 1,086 students will receive their Junior Cert results across Offaly today.

"Sometimes I get the feeling Turkey is intentionally placing these roadblocks so that it can blame Europe for any breakdown in accession talks", he said.

Unemployment in Europe was at a nine-year low, he said, and the bloc was in the fifth year of an economic recover that had finally reached every single member state.

"What we are doing, and everybody has asked for this, is to set out how we see the new partnership the day after Brexit".

"We are just making sure that in a worst-case scenario, if the talks go wrong and if the United Kingdom is out of the bloc, then at least we don't end up with an additional oversupply on the market", said Bas Eickhout, a green member of parliament.

Juncker called for the passport-free Schengen zone of 26 countries to expand to Bulgaria and Romania "immediately" and to also include Croatia when it meets the criteria.

The eurozone should meanwhile be expanded beyond the 19 countries that now use the single currency, in line with the EU's treaties that say all states must join the euro. "Let's make the most of the momentum".

"Italy is saving Europe's honor in the Mediterranean", Juncker said. He will offer more detailed proposals for reforms to the euro zone on September 26, two days after Germany's federal election, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

Like this: