Verhofstadt: Brits Chose Brexit to Affirm Their Right to Be Stupid, Next Gen Will Rejoin EU

Little Englander
NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images

Leading European Union parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt says Britons backed Brexit to affirm their right to be stupid, and that the country’s youth will take it back into the EU.

The former Belgian prime minister, quoting 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, began his diatribe in the anti-Brexit The New European newspaper by summing up Brexit as a product of people’s wish to “have the right to desire what is… extremely stupid” and not “only what is intelligent” — an explanation for the Leave vote which is perhaps unlikely to persuade Brexiteers that EU loyalists do not hold their intelligence in contempt:

“There is one case,” wrote Dostoevsky, “and only one, when a man may deliberately and consciously desire something that is downright harmful even stupid, even extremely stupid, and that is: to have the right to desire what is even extremely stupid and not to be duty bound to desire only what is intelligent.”

That, for me, is Brexit.

Verhofstadt went on to suggest that “No-one in their right mind” ever really believed that leaving the European “would be a constructive thing to do”, but that the British people nevertheless decided to “reaffirm [their] right [to do] something spectacularly self-harmful and destructive” — presumably out of sheer, masochistic bloody-mindedness.

The Belgian warned that “Russian interference should worry all of us [and Chinese assertiveness looks down upon democracies as never before” — neatly side-stepping the way leading EU governments such as Germany’s have strengthened the Russian government by striking gas deals with them at their allies’ expense, and the way Brussels is courting the Chinese Communist Party for an investment pact — and suggested that Brexit Britain will find itself buffeted by the geopolitical headwinds as a freestanding democracy.

He predicted, however, that with EU loyalists having a fairly tight grip on the minds of Britain’s youth, Brussels would, in the end, reabsorb the United Kingdom.

“No-one under the age of 22 had a say in the dreadful decision implemented this week,” complained Verhofstadt, 67.

“Those just old enough to vote at the time of the referendum overwhelmingly voted to remain. Whatever happens next, these younger generations will decide on their future for themselves. At some point, one way or another, they will find their way back to the European family,” he concluded.

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