EU MEP in dig at Boris Johnson says Brexit Britain will be 'back inside the European family' in decades

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt 

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt - Credit: Twitter

A leading EU politician has taken a swipe at Boris Johnson and fellow Brexiteers by saying that Britain will rejoin the "European family" in a few decades during a passionate speech in the European parliament.

Guy Verhofstadt, who served as the EU's Brexit coodinator, said it would be the "students of Britain" who would eventually bring the UK back into the trading bloc.

In a speech to MEPs, Verhofstadt said: "The last remark that I want to make is a request to Michel Barnier and to the negotiating team, that is to do something on Erasmus.

"I know the cherry-picking attitude from the Brits, which is in fact devastating [sic] for Erasmus.

"Let's take a unilateral measure towards the students in Britain that they can continue unilaterally, to make use of Erasmus.

"It's a pro-European generation, this young generation, and it's this generation who will bring back the UK inside the European family in the next decades."

MORE: EU politician drops hint Brexit deal could happen 'at the end' of December

Verhofstadt in November predicted that a post-Brexit Britain would one day seek to rejoin the EU.

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The Belgian MEP tweeted a graph showing positive British views of the EU reaching an all-time high, writing: "As I have always said, one day a politician will bring Britain back home to where it belongs - at the centre of our common European destiny!"

Responding to the MEP's plea, David Head posted: "This will come about, though I hope sooner rather than later. Counting on younger Britons to put the UK back on track by getting us back into the EU."

One user wrote: "So proud if you can do this for UK youngsters - this will show Europe's faith in them, they will return and they will be proud to be European. We will be back - too late for me unfortunately - but forever European #IAmEuropean."

Another added: "This proposal represents everything that is good and honourable in the European movement... we will be back as stronger, even more committed Europeans in a few short years."

A pensioner by the name of Mark tweeted: "I’m not sure it will be in my lifetime, but we’ll be back at the heart of Europe someday. And I’ll support that movement every inch of the way."

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