ALDE: “Use Brexit and Macron’s election to reform Europe”, Guy Verhofstadt
During today’s plenary debate, ALDE Group leader Guy Verhofstadt called on his colleagues to use Brexit and President Macron’s election to reform Europe.
“Three times in a row now the nationalists and populists have been beaten: in Austria, in the Netherlands, in France.”
“This has not happened by accident. Brexit has played an important role in this. People all over Europe have been shocked by the decision of Britain to leave the Union.”
“They are critical towards the Union, but don’t want a Frexit, Nexit or Auxit. Reform Europe: yes. Destroy Europe: no bloody way!”
“It cannot now be business as usual. We have to use the Brexit and the election of President Macron to radically change Europe. It was a relief to hear on Monday the reaction from Berlin. A positive reaction, a reaction so different from the “nein” that Schäuble and the German press echoed since Macron’s election on the 7th of May. “Wir Schaffen Das”.
“It’s indeed time for a new vision, a new future for Europe; a future for which thousands of young people from Pulse of Europe gather every Sunday in more than 100 cities all over Europe. You know what these youngsters have and what we don’t have enough of? Audacity. To paraphrase Danton: “De l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace et l’Europe sera sauvée.”
Catherine Bearder (LibDem, UK) said: “As a result of the Brexit referendum, 5m European citizens are living their lives in constant frustration and a legal limbo. The referendum result has created a state of anxiety for many thousands of EU and UK citizens, with 7% reporting depression and some are even suicidal, which is intolerable.”
“Both sides need to quickly agree to guarantee EU citizens’ rights and this means the British government must stop blaming and start acting responsibly. We need a comprehensive and reciprocal agreement, because our citizens desperately need our help now.”