Tuesday

21st Sep 2021

No EU plan for Brexit, Eurogroup chief says

  • "Don't talk only to the rational part of the UK debate," says Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: European Business Summit)

EU leaders have not planned for a British exit from the EU after the 23 June referendum, the president of the Eurogroup said Thursday (2 June).

Speaking at the European Business Summit in Brussels, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that there was no EU plan B.


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"Speaking of a plan B sounds like there is plan," but there is no such thing, he said. "We'll see what we do on 24 June."

"I don't think there will be an answer everyone will agree on that could be called a plan," he added.

The Eurogroup chief, who is also the Dutch finance minister, said the pro-EU camp in Europe and in the UK should address irrational feelings expressed by British voters ahead of the referendum.

He noted that there are two parallel debates going on in the campaign.

The first debate is rational and is mainly about the economic pros and cons of an eventual Brexit, he said.

And then there is "another one, not so rational", which is about Britain's influence in Europe and in the world. "This very much related to migration and security," he said.

Dijsselbloem said leaders should not talk only to the rational part of the debate but also engage more on voters' feelings.

He said that the question, which is raised in all EU countries and not only in the UK, is whether the EU is "delivering what we expect from it", namely security and wealth.

"We have to show that we are in control of migration and of security. And we are delivering on economic policy," he said, adding that growth was increasing and unemployment was going down.

Dijsselbloem admitted that the political climate in Europe was "challenging". But he added that even if structural reforms are not popular, they are necessary to maintain Europe's social and economical model.

"We have to work hard, even if it's not a popular message," he added.

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