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Belgium: Juncker gaffe: 'I don't think Britain needs the European Union'

3 14.10.2015 Инфо

Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to say he doubted whether Britain "needs" the European Union. "I am hundred and fifty percent in favour of having Britain as a constructive member state of the European Union. We need Britain," he said. "Personally I don't think Britain needs the European Union," he added, however, in his following sentence Juncker clarified his statement, describing such a position as a "matter of conviction" which others within the EU Executive might disagree with. Aides to Mr Juncker, who is not a native speaker of English and is prone to mumbling, later insisted the EU chief had been misheard and had indeed said: "I do think." Negotiations are ongoing between the UK and EU on reforms to European legislation, with the UK Conservative government insisting on reforms, including reforms to laws allowing free movement within the Schengen area, ahead of a UK referendum on EU membership due to be held in 2017.