The row was sparked when Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed President of the European Commission as former prime minister David Cameron questioned the legitimacy of the decision. Furious at the decision from Brussels, Mr Cameron criticised what he called a “backroom deal” to appoint Mr Juncker, who was being “railroaded” through – against the wishes of two EU member states, Britain and Hungary. Mr Cameron also told EU leaders that the appointment of Mr Juncker marked a “sad moment” and that support for the Luxembourg-based politician was “wafer-thin”.
The former PM said: “I’ve told EU leaders they could live to regret the new process for choosing the commission president. I’ll always stand up for UK interests.”
During a lunch with the bloc’s leaders, Mr Cameron added that “[Jean-Claude Juncker] is the ultimate Brussels insider who has been at the table for the last two decades of decisions.
“If you want change, is that the type of person you want for the future?”
In a warning that would prove correct – Mr Cameron predicted that the appointment would make the UK’s departure from the EU more likely.
He also outlined his concerns about Mr Juncker in a brief meeting with the German chancellor Angela Merkel before the summit.
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A British official said Mr Cameron told Mrs Merkel that the appointment of Juncker would mark a “worrying moment for Europe and for Britain”.
The ex-Conservative Party leader also attacked the spitzenkandidaten system, the system used to select the Commission President, adding it has no legitimacy.
The system was devised by European parliament leaders, who used the powers in the Lisbon treaty that say EU leaders need to take account of last month’s European parliamentary elections in nominating a candidate.
Mr Juncker was the candidate of the centre-right European People’s party, the largest group in the parliament.
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Despite Cameron’s warnings that the appointment could make the UK’s departure from the EU more likely, Brexit would eventually happen.
Juncker said in 2017 that was sad about the UK leaving – and even argued that the country would one day rejoin.
He said: “I don’t like Brexit. I would like to be in the same boat as the British. The day will come when the British re-enter the boat.
I hope.” A senior aide later said the option of Britain returning to the EU “will always be open” and outlined various ways in which it could happen.
They added: “There are different ways you can join. You can be a full member, you can be a partner, you can be related to us in the customs union, or through a trade agreement.”
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Mr Juncker also remained defiant that Brexit would not be the beginning of the end of the bloc, despite its devastating ramifications.
He added: “Brexit is not the end of the European Union, not the end of all our developments, nor the end of our continental ambitions.
“I had the impression from colleagues I talked to in the room, that quite the contrary, the Brexit issue is encouraging the others to continue.
“Unfortunately, not the British. I have seen in more or less all member states that the approval of European integration is having a larger adherence of the population.”
Source Daily Express :: UK Feed