Ursula von der Leyen calls for UK voters to reverse Brexit

Thu 30 Nov 2023
Posted by: Benjamin Roche
Trade News

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has advised young UK voters to return the UK to the EU.

‘Old friends’

Speaking to Politico, she called the Windsor Framework agreed last year a “new beginning for old friends”, but said it was incumbent on the younger generation of voters in particular to “fix it” on Brexit.

“I keep telling my children: ‘We goofed it up, you have to fix it.’ So, I think here too, the direction of travel – my personal opinion – is clear.”

The Times adds that some in the upper echelons in Brussels view a potential Labour government following the UK’s next general election as an opportunity to tighten relations and achieve new deals on trade in food and other goods.

PM unconvinced

UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, defended the country’s decision to leave the bloc, arguing that it had given the government stronger powers on migration and other issues.

His spokesperson said yesterday (29 November):

“It’s through our Brexit freedoms that we are, right now, considering how to further strengthen our migration system.

“It is through our Brexit freedoms we are ensuring patients in the UK can get access to medicines faster, that there is improved animal welfare. That is very much what we are focused on.”

He added that Sunak “championed Brexit before it was in his career interests to do so” because of his belief in the policy.

Stone rage

A different tone was taken by Conservative MP for Ashfield Lee Anderson, who said that von der Leyen “needs to shut up”.

If the UK votes in future to return to the bloc, he added, “I’m moving to [the] Orkney isles”.

The happening Neolithic destination may not have a new resident just yet, but the UK population appears to be warming to the idea of reintegration with the EU.

A YouGov poll reported on by Reuters yesterday found that 57% of people would support re-joining the single market, even if it means the adoption of the EU’s policy of free movement of people.

Among those who voted to leave and who plan to vote for the Labour Party, 53% support re-joining the single market, while 31% are opposed. Only 29% of those who voted leave and plan to vote for the Conservatives support a return, however, while 54% are opposed. A majority of 72% of all voters want stronger ties with the EU, the poll of 2,138 found.