EU leaders switch focus to Europe’s future with Brexit delay

16th April, 2019 11:11:53 printer

STRASBOURG: European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday the European Union can focus unhindered on building its own future now that Britain has a longer delay to work out its troubled exit, reports AFP.

Speaking to the European Parliament, Juncker also insisted Britain cooperate with the EU during the delay, which he did not expect to be renewed after October 31, and be treated as a full member.

“The future of our union is not Brexit,” Juncker, the head of the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, told the parliament in its last session before the May 23-26 elections.

He referred to key decisions ahead on a new multi-year EU budget, international trade, and the selection of new European leaders, including his replacement. 

Echoing terms of the delay the EU granted Britain at a summit last week, Juncker also underlined anew Britain’s role in the months or weeks ahead.

“We are requesting there will be a loyal and responsible cooperation,” the former Luxembourg premier said, switching to English from a speech in French and German.