‘He’s better at burning bridges than building bridges’ – Negotiator mocks Boris’ bridge plan

PUBLISHED: 11:11 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 02 October 2018

Guy Verhofstadt in the European Parliament

Guy Verhofstadt in the European Parliament

Archant

The European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has hit out at Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Jacob Rees-Mogg in a scathing speech in Brussels.

Verhofstadt mocked Boris Johnson’s latest proposal for a bridge to Ireland saying that he was well-known for proposing plans for bridges, but was “better at burning them”.

He also criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg for pledging financial security in Britain after Brexit at the same time as opening an investment fund in Ireland to transfer his money over.

He said: “Building a bridge between mainland Britain and Ireland, the latest intervention of Boris Johnson, who normally burns bridges instead of building them.

“Or the recent statements of Rees-Mogg, who tells ordinary people that their savings will be completely secure after Brexit while stashing his own fortune in an Irish fund.”

The Belgian MEP also joined others in criticising foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, and said the EU deserves an apology.

He said that it was “not so abnormal” for Hunt to make such comments given he had once confused Japan with China, but said rather than insulting just his wife, he had managed to insult “millions of ordinary citizens” who lived under Soviet Union rule.

Verhofstadt also said the EU would not and should not seek to change its own attitudes in order to help the “deeply divided” Conservative party, and they would not entertain their “insane notions” put forward at their conference.

He said: “The third priority for the upcoming Council is to keep our unity on Brexit, unity amongst member states, unity amongst the institutions, unity against the insane notions of some Tory politicians in the last days.

“We will never do anything that would undermine the principles of our union – never!

“We will not trample on our project to rescue a party that is deeply divided and apparently not capable, of course, a common line to exit the mess of Brexit.”

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