Jean-Claude Juncker: I’ll be leaving EU before UK does
Nov. 29, 2019
Jean-Claude Juncker signed off as Europe’s most senior official today with a tongue-in-cheek jibe at Boris Johnson and the UK Brexiteers.
The outgoing European Commission president joked about the Prime Minister’s interest in “the curvature of cucumbers” in his previous career as a Brussels-based journalist.
He also made sport of the time taken for Britain to “enfin!” find the exit door from the EU since the 2016 referendum, adding: “Four years later, I will be leaving before the UK does.”
“Over these past years, I often felt like Europe’s family therapist, trying to keep everyone happy and on board,” Mr Juncker wrote in a farewell letter for the Politico news service.
In a reference to Mr Johnson’s obsessions with European red tape during his stint as a Brussels correspondent, Mr Juncker said: “The EU often gets a bad rap for regulating toilet flushes or the curvature of cucumbers but these are archaic references.
“Over the past five years, we drastically reduced the amount of EU legislation — by 83 per cent — so we could focus on the things that really matter to Europeans, such as tackling climate change and better managing migration.”
On Brexit , he proudly pointed to the strength of the EU side in negotiations. “When it came to Brexit I hired the most capable divorce lawyer in town, mon cher Michel [Barnier], who (twice) negotiated the best divorce deal possible while making sure the EU27 family sticks together,” he said.
Bidding farewell to the still unended Brexit saga, Mr Juncker said: “In a way, I am not unhappy about this because it breaks my heart to see a member of our Union leave its midst.”
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