Britain should use the next few months to “cool down and rethink” its decision to leave the European Union, the socialist candidate to head the next European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said last week, writes Peter Maushagen.
Two weeks ago, EU leaders gave Britain an extension of its departure date until 31 October, with the possibility of leaving sooner if parliament ratifies a divorce deal Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with the EU. Lawmakers have already rejected the deal three times.
“I absolutely hope that the UK might stay in the EU,” Timmermans, now the Commission’s first vice president, said in a television debate on France 24 with his main rival, Manfred Weber of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP).
“I hope this period of extension will be used for Britain to calm down and rethink things a bit, perhaps for politicians to be more responsible with the promises they make, and then look at the issue again later this year,” the Dutchman said.