Following his strongest intervention in the Brexit debate to date, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has been accused of intimidation for warning British voters that “deserters will not be welcomed with open arms”.
Mr. Juncker recently told a German audience he will not be campaigning in the UK for a Remain vote in the referendum because he believes “the European Commission is even more disliked in Britain than in Germany.”
Now, however, he has used an interview with French newspaper Le Monde to offer stark views on the matter, saying: “If the British leave Europe, people will have to face the consequences.”
“This isn’t a threat, but our relationship will no longer be as it is today,” warned Mr. Juncker, adding: “The UK will have to get used to being regarded as a third party state, which we won’t be handling with kid gloves.
Making it clear how those as committed to the federalising ‘European Project’ as Mr. Juncker view British eurosceptics, he described them as “deserters” who “will not be welcomed with open arms.”
The strength of the comments are all the more surprising given the fact that to date the European Commission has been careful not to undermine the UK referendum campaign. As Breitbart London previously reported, European Union (EU) officials are under orders to flag up issues in their portfolios relating to the UK which could boost the Leave campaign were they to become public.
Mr. Juncker also appeared to have reserved some of his frustration for the pro-EU Remain campaign. Suggesting that the reforms negotiated in February which were meant to secure Britain special status in the politico-trading bloc have been forgotten, he said:
“We will have to implement the arrangement that we have with David Cameron, which nobody speaks of in the referendum campaign. It won’t be easy.”
That reform package ‘goes live’ once Mr. Cameron declares that Britain is remaining a member of the EU, but even then parts of the agreement will still have to clear the hurdle of ratification in the European Parliament, and potentially face legal challenges.