Josep Borrell, a member of Spain’s ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party and president of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2007, lashed out at the UK in the wake of the groundbreaking European elections. Europhile Mr Borrell, an advocate to a greater union within the bloc, branded Britain an “obstacle” to further integration and candidly said the UK isn’t “a good member”. In the interview with the European Council on Foreign Relations, he said: “I am of the school who believes that with the UK in the EU we will never have a political union.
“If what it’s all about is a political union, the UK is not a good member of the club and they’ve never hidden that from us.
“We kept thinking we could talk them round, but the proof is in the pudding: they don’t want it and they are leaving precisely because they don’t want what they can see is happening.
“Personally, because I do want a political union, I don’t care whether the United Kingdom leaves because I know that to date, it has been an obstacle to further integration”.
Mr Borrell, who has been tipped by some to replace Federica Mogherini as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, voiced his frustration at how some of the state members are approaching the Brexit chaos.
The Spaniard divided the EU leaders into two categories, saying: “There are two takes on this: the people who really don’t want the British to leave and are willing to give them every possible extension, wait for them to get sick of the whole thing and decide to stay.
“And those who accept they are going, even some who may think it’s not a bad idea, but are afraid of the practical implications of no deal because they don’t know how they’re going to manage border flows, the new customs tariffs, the movement of people.
“All of that is very complicated, it causes fear and they prefer.
“Well, nobody goes to the dentist until they have to, right?
“And they prefer to put it off to next week.”
Spain is one of the few countries where the ruling left-wing was showered with votes at the European elections.
Mr Borrell’s party, led in Madrid by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, received 32.84 percent of the votes and a total of 20 seats, six more than in 2014.
This victory is even more significative for the Spanish socialists as it comes with the haemorrhage of support suffered by Dolors Montserrat’s conservative PP, which sunk from 26,09 percent gained in 2014 to 20.13 percent.
Mr Borrell celebrated the result saying: “Little by little Europe is shaping its own profile in the political debate and it is very important to highlight the high participation.”
(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)