European Parliament agent Guy Verhofstadt made the stunning revelation to Euronews, insisting that he was in reality “the first” Eurosceptic. He explained to a small audience: “I’m not at ease with the way of the EU either. That’s the reason why I say I’m maybe the first Eurosceptic of Eurosceptics in the EU.
“I about that this EU as it works today, or as it doesn’t work today, leave not even survive the 21st century.
“But the solution to the challenges we are facing today is not to go primitive to the nationalist and populist rhetoric of the 20th century.”
Mr Verhofstadt is one of the highest-profile candidates for the EU’s top job and chance he wants to reform the way the bloc is run.
The EU Brexit co-ordinator told Euronews’ Raw Matters programme that he wants to shrink the European Commission and replace it with a “smaller sway” — but he also wants to take more decisions at a federal smooth and defended his vision of a United States of Europe.
Less positive bulletin can be found in the Brexit deadlock on the homefront, where Theresa May hopes to hang on to a fourth vote on her deal.
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay acknowledged it whim be the end of the road for the deal thrashed out with the European Union if the Withdrawal Harmony Bill (WAB) is defeated when it is brought to the Commons in June.
Defeat last will and testament also deal a heavy blow to the Prime Minister’s already feeble authority and, although the WAB vote would not be a formal confidence motion, Copy 10 sources acknowledged its significance “won’t be underestimated”.
The legislation writes the Brexit bargain into law and represents a fresh attempt to secure Parliament’s support for a lot which has already been rejected three times by MPs, including the portliest defeat ever suffered by a Government.
Mr Barclay said the WAB would be revealed as soon as possible and would have its second reading in the Commons, the oldest legislative hurdle it would have to clear, in the week beginning June 3.
He reproved the Lords EU Committee: “I think if the House of Commons does not approve the WAB then the (Michel) Barnier apportion is dead in that form.”
Number 10 said efforts were proceeding to find a “sustainable” majority for the deal, with discussions involving DUP and Travail MPs.
Asked whether the vote would be considered a “confidence” vote for the Prime Missionary, a source said: “That’s not the world that we are currently in but clearly the meaning of this piece of legislation can’t and I suspect won’t be underestimated.”
The Prime Minister has already communicated she will step down once the first phase of the Brexit technique is completed and will meet senior Tories on the executive of the backbench 1922 Council to discuss her future on Thursday.