Jean-Claude Juncker has used one of his final public appearances as the European Commission president to hit at the ‘bullsh*t’ peddled by Boris Johnson ‘and others’ on the Leave side during the EU referendum.
Speaking to an audience at a think tank in Brussels, Junker expressed regret at not intervening back in June 2016.
He said: “They were saying things, some of them – lying. Telling the people things which have nothing to do with our day by day reality.
“I should have intervened, because nobody was denying, contesting the lies Boris Johnson and others were spreading around.”
Juncker blamed the Leave leaders and their “bullsh*t” for the crisis that has besieged British politics.
He said: “If for 46 years you are told day after day, and you are reading in your papers, that the place of the British is not really in Europe, but that they are there for economic and internal market reasons, and all the rest – it’s nonsense, bullsh*t.”
He continued to also hit out at the Brexiteers – in the form of the Brexit Party – who continue to claim they stand for a majority in the European parliament.
“As they are saying in the European Parliament – don’t be surprised if voters are asked to give their impression, some of them, a small majority but nevertheless a clear majority, is voting like a majority of the British sovereign people is voting.”
He said the leaders of the European Comission were far from anti-democratic, pointing out: “I am an elected guy.”
But rather than “bringing the house down” he said Brexit had brought the remaining member states of the EU closer together.
“Brexit is a shame and it is the most difficult problem we have ever had to face.
“I don’t think that Brexit is in the interest of Britain or the European Union. All of us will pay the price.
“It could have brought the house down, acted as a catalyst for others and split Europe forever but it did not. Unity has prevailed.
“I have to admit that it has pained me to spend so much of this mandate having to deconstruct when all I have ever wanted is to move the EU forward and not back.
“But to the surprise of many we have not fallen apart, quite the reverse.”
He continued: “One should not underestimate how many conversations and encouragements this took me and Michel Barnier. European resilience and strength has shone through.”