After a speech that aimed to heal the wounds of Brexit, MEPs offered a post-mortem.
From the Leave camp, outgoing UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Juncker’s words were likely to have the opposite of the desired effect.
“It’s clear there are no lessons that are going to be learned from Brexit, indeed, it was the usual recipe – more Europe. And in this particular case, more military Europe. And it isn’t going to change the rapid growth in opposition parties across the whole of Europe, it isn’t going to stop the central, eastern European countries from saying no to Mrs Merkel’s migrant quotas and I think you’ve got a lot more referendums to look forward to.”
Federalist and chief negotiator of Brexit talks for the Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt said Europe must reinvent itself, and called for more integration. Speaking to the populist politicians he said:
“They all preach one thing: a false sense of security. They believe that with walls and fences we can solve the problem. How (do) you keep terrorists outside your borders? You can only do that with supra-national policies and supra-national instruments in the future.”
The debate was a snapshot of Europe at a turning point and discussions at the Bratislava summit on Friday are likely to be just as frank.