Juncker to unveil post-Brexit plan

An unenviable task: Jean-Claude Juncker. [European Parliament/Flickr]

On Wednesday (1 March) European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil his plan for the EU’s future after Britain’s departure, his spokesman said.

Juncker’s so-called “White Paper” will be presented to the European Parliament after Commissioners get a first look at it today (28 February), the spokesman said.

European Union leaders will then consider Juncker’s plan at a summit on 9-10 March, before coming up with their own post-Brexit roadmap at a special meeting in Rome on 25 March.

“On Wednesday, president Juncker will go to the European Parliament to present the White Paper on the future of the union,” Juncker’s spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a briefing.

Britain’s shock June 2016 vote to leave the EU — coupled with crises involving the economy and migration — has plunged the 28-nation EU into a deep bout of soul-searching.

Will the EU survive Brexit?

Britain’s vote to become the first country to leave the EU, as projected by national media, is a shattering blow that threatens the survival of the post-war European project, officials and analysts said.

At a special summit in Italy to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which founded the EU, the bloc’s leaders will issue a special declaration with new plans for future.

The declaration is expected to cover the next ten years and is likely to contain suggestions for a “multi-speed Europe” in which EU states can decide on how much integration they want, European sources told AFP.

EU leaders are also keen to move on and not let the entire European project get bogged down in what promise to be difficult negotiations with Britain over its exit, which is expected in 2019.

Schinas said Juncker’s plan was meant to open a “debate” ahead of the Rome declaration and said there was a “lot of interest” in the former Luxembourg prime minister’s views.

Blair urges pro-EU Britons to 'rise up' against Brexit

Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Friday (17 February) urged Britons who support the European Union to “rise up” and persuade Brexit voters to change their mind about leaving the bloc in a high-profile speech.