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Brexit could happen elsewhere in Europe, suggests ex-EU negotiator Michel Barnier
30 September 2021, 00:29 | Updated: 30 September 2021, 06:38
Former EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told LBC that there's "social anger" in many regions of Europe and suggested that Brexit could happen in another European country.
While discussing the Brexit vote with Mr Barnier, LBC's Iain Dale said: "Early on in [your] book, you talk about the fact that there were lots of people who were dissatisfied with a lot of things in Britain, not particularly necessarily the European Union.
"But they were angry about austerity [and] the policies of the David Cameron Government. So they took the opportunity to kick the Government, which I guess can happen anywhere.
"But if it can happen in Britain, it could happen elsewhere. Do you think that it could happen in another European country?"
Mr Barnier said: "Yes, I think so, exactly for the reason that you mention."
In explaining his stance, he stated that "social anger" can be found "in many, many [regions] of Europe".
Mr Barnier also told Ian that he was "surprised" and "disappointed" that the UK voted to leave the EU.
"I was very surprised because the day before, on the night, it was not the feeling, even in the Brexit camp, and I was disappointed because I thought it was not a good decision for both of us, the UK and Europe," he said.
"I always thought that Brexit, because it is a divorce, is a loser's game so I was surprised and disappointed."
He also said he had worked hard to understand the reasons behind the UK's decision, saying: "I try to understand, I spend a lot of time to listen to everybody in the UK and to listen to look at the reasons."
He added he knew immediately that the outcome of the vote should be respected.
"It was a sovereign decision of the UK people, 52 per cent of British citizens, and I immediately thought that we had to respect this vote because it was, and it remains, a sovereign vote of the British people," he said.