The 48% of British people who voted remain in the EU referendum last year need to be taken into account in the negotiation process, said Polish MEP Danuta Hübner, the powerful chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs.
“Cherrypicking” European policies won’t be possible once the country has left, the centre-right lawmaker told EURACTIV.com in a video interview, echoing previous warnings by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders.
“In Europe, everything is linked. If you are part of the single market, you have to be subject also to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, you have to contribute financially, and you have to respect our values,” she said.
“I hope nobody is looking at this process [Brexit] through the eyes of Mr. Farage,” Hübner continued, referring to the “lies” and “false information” peddled by the Leave camp during the referendum campaign.
“I hope we’re now done with policies that aren’t based on facts,” she added, calling for a transparent negotiation process that citizens in Britain and the rest of Europe can understand.
Asked about the UK’s future relations with Ireland, an EU member, the former Commissioner in charge of regional policy did not hide her concerns.
The return of a “hard border” between the UK and Ireland is “a risk that we have to take into account” and which will “require a special approach”, Hübner said. People who’ve been building peace for decades “don’t deserve it”, she said.
“It would be a shame for Europe” if an agreement with Ireland cannot be found, she continued. It’s not only about Belfast, it’s also about regional cooperation on which the EU has invested a lot, she said referring to so-called “peace money” disbursed by the EU in support of the peace process.