14 September, 2017
He called for an European Union summit in the Romanian city of Sibiu on March 30, 2019, the day Britain would officially depart the bloc. He will call for the European Union to deepen integration in all fields, including endorsing French President Emmanuel Macron's idea for a eurozone finance minister and treasury to give more political control over the 19-country single currency, sources said.
The head of the EU's powerful executive arm is not expected to dwell on Brexit but will say it is a "huge opportunity" that could end divisions among the remaining 27 members, European sources said. "This will be a very sad and tragic moment in our history - we will always regret this, and I think that you will regret it soon, if I might say", he said. The expected positive change of tone by Juncker as he addresses the 750 MEPs will be dramatic compared to a year ago when a string of crises from the debt in the eurozone to migration culminated in the the Brexit quake.
The Commission President, a former prime minister of Luxembourg, said he believed that the European Union would continue to enlarge and "will have more than 27 member states" - though he admitted it was unlikely to do so immediately during his term as president.
In treating that historic event as a brief aside, Juncker was reflecting the fact that continental leaders have by now fully reconciled themselves to the UK's departure, but he was also conveying a message: the European Union, confidently facing the future, refuses to be defined by Brexit.
"All of this leads me to believe: the wind is back in Europe's sails".
FILE PHOTO - EU and British flags fly outside the European Commission building in London, Britain August 12, 2017. "Though I am sure that had eight million jobs been lost, we would have taken the blame".
"At a time of increased threats and global instability the United Kingdom remains unwavering in its commitment to uphold European security", Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement.