Verhofstadt: Brexit ‘Chaos’ Will Make People Like the EU Again

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The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator has claimed the “chaos” of the UK’s exit from the bloc will stem the rise of populist Euroscepticism on the continent and make Europeans ‘attached’ to the Brussels bureaucracy once more.

“If we do not care, [the European Union] will disappear. Nothing is forever,” Guy Verhofstadt said in an interview given Sunday.

He also revealed he is seeking an alliance with French President Emmanuel Macron’s political party, La République en Marche, for the European elections in May in an effort to fight populist resistance to the bloc’s expansion.

The MEP, who supports the creation of a United States of Europe, told the Ouest France newspaper: “The fight in 2019 will be a fight between the nationalist populists on one side and a pro-European alternative.”

“Fortunately, we have Brexit. It illustrates the populist wave, but it has also provoked a resurrection of attachment to the EU within public opinion,” he added.

“In Denmark, polls clearly say that people do not want to jump ship any more. We see the difficulties, the chaos created by Great Britain’s exit.

“Even the populists do not dare to say that they want to leave the EU,” the former Prime Minister of Belgium also said.

“We see a change in their language. They all wanted to get out and now they stay. They see that people do not want it,” continued Mr Verhofstadt, who was speaking before the Swedish elections.

On the potential alliance with Mr Macron’s party, he said: “The goal is to create a decisive group in the future parliament, that would be a tool to stop the nationalist tide.”

Asked about an alliance, Christophe Castaner, the head of La République en Marche, dismissed Mr Verhoftsadt’s proposal outright.

“We are not ready for an alliance,” he told Reuters on Sunday.

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