Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, has wound up the Brexit Party MEPs by saying she will only miss Remainers in the parliament when Brexit happens.
Von de Leyen paid tribute to those anti-Brexit campaigners who had fought in the election to return a result more favourable to Britain staying in the European Union.
She told the parliament: “If I look at our very brave Remain MEPs I can only say, I’m sorry, we will miss you.”
“Thank you for your courage. Thank you for having been at our side.”
To jeers from the Brexit Party, she continued: “We will never miss those who scream and yell.”
“And now, thanks God, without you, we are constructing our future partnership to the UK.”
The politician said that the timetable for negotiations was “extremely challenging” but that the EU would try to “make the most” of the time.
But she said that the UK would have the most to suffer from failing to reach agreement before Brexit happens.
“That will clearly harm our interests but it will clearly impact more the UK,” she said.
But she added: “But at the very end I hope for the sake of the European people and the British people that we will have an unprecedented partnership”.