The European Union (EU) accepts the UK is leaving the bloc and will not change its mind, a leading European commissioner has revealed.
Phil Hogan, Ireland’s EU commissioner in Brussels, also threatened that the UK will be a diminished power once it regains its sovereignty after Brexit, in comments made this Monday at a Dublin City University Brexit Institute seminar in Brussels.
He acknowledged the UK has “decided to leave the EU, and the UK will revert to third-country status in about 355 days from now… [and] its flag will be hauled down from before the EU’s institutions.”
Continuing: “Given the UK’s preference for the long game, we should not expect any rush to clarity on its part. One result is that we can expect the uncertainties that characterise the UK’s position to continue.
“This will make it useful for the EU to keep remind itself of the one thing that is completely certain – the UK is not going to change is mind on EU membership,” Mr. Hogan said.
He added that the UK is unlikely to change its mind “not for many years, if ever”.
Taking stock of where we stand in relation to #Brexit, with less than 1 year to go and the clock ticking – my speech to @DCU_Brexit_Inst event @ @IrelandRepBru: https://t.co/LRSBWQHd8j pic.twitter.com/HvzMLEBaoY
— Phil Hogan (@PhilHoganEU) April 9, 2018
The comments will be a blow to Labour figures such as Tony Blair and Lord Adonis, who continue to call for Brexit to be blocked, and the Brexit shadow secretary, Keir Starmer, who is still demanding a second vote.
“One thing we have already learned from Brexit is that the UK does not have a better idea. It does not have a replacement for the union as a way to improve the life quality of its citizens, its businesses and its standing in the world,” said Mr. Hogan.
Adding: “Stepping into global Britain is stepping into a difficult world. And there will be a huge gap between hope and experience. One hopes that [Theresa] May’s confidence is not misplaced.”
The comments come as yet another poll is reported showing that the British public would once again vote to leave the EU.
The YouGov poll, conducted at the end of March, shows that 52 per cent of people still believe the UK should leave the bloc. Just 13 per cent said the government should abandon Brexit altogether.