brexBites

The least worst option, in my view, is that you stay in the end because anything else is going to be difficult, and difficult for the [UK] Union.

Tony Blair,
former UK prime minister, expressing his preference for remaining in the EU, in an interview with the Institute for Government
(April 30, 2019)

I formed this [Brexit] party because I believe Brexit must be delivered. And it isn’t just about leaving the European Union and becoming independent, it's about our country. Are we a democratic nation or are we a banana republic?

Nigel Farage
former UKIP leader, explaining why he formed the Brexit Party, in an interview with The Sun newspaper
(April 24, 2019)

She [Angela Merkel] is not only a respected person but also a lovable work of art.

Jean-Claude Juncker
outgoing president of the European Commission, touting Angela Merkel for a senior EU position after she steps down as German chancellor, in an interview with the Funke Media Group
(April 20, 2019)

They [Britain] will have to decide what they want by October. You cannot drag out Brexit for a decade.

Heiko Mass
German Foreign Minister, signalling Berlin will side with France in refusing any further Brexit extension beyond October, in an interview with the Financial Times
(April 16, 2019)

Too bad that the European Union is being so tough on the United Kingdom and Brexit. The E.U. is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change. Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!

President Donald Trump
in a tweet after the EU’s Brexit summit
(April 11, 2019)

We will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people no matter what happens, because this solidarity is the very purpose of the European project.

President Emmanuel Macron of France
pledging support for Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit
(April 2, 2019)

For those of you involved in crafting disclosure documents, you can ask yourself a straightforward question: would these disclosures satisfy the curiosity of a thoughtful, deliberative board member considering the potential impact of Brexit on the company's business, operations and strategic plans?

William Hinman
Director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, speaking at PLI's 18th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation in Europe
(March 15, 2019)

I think it's unwise to talk in that way. And for anyone to claim the United Kingdom is not to be trusted in a security system is really unacceptable. The United Kingdom is the most reliable security partner in Europe, so I think that is something that needs to be in the negotiation.

Liam Fox
UK International Trade Secretary, responding to a threat by Michel Barnier to exclude Britain from the €10bn EU Galileo space programme after Brexit
(March 29, 2018)

For us in the outside world, Britain would become, at least in economic terms, irrelevant to international diplomacy. You would be better off remaining within the EU or being completely out of it in every way than leaving yourselves in such a position of weakness and irrelevancy.

Alexander Downer
Australian High Commissioner to the UK, condemning the idea of Britain remaining in the EU customs union, at a Policy Exchange event
(March 29, 2018)

The EU's price for a free trade deal will be a common customs tariff that affects the UK... How could you square that circle? It would make a US-UK free trade deal virtually impossible.

Gary Hufbauer
senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Politics and former US Treasury Department official, speaking to Business Insider
(March 28, 2018)

Ireland may rely on us [in Brexit negotiations with Britain] and it is unconditional - that is a matter of fact per se.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor
(March 20, 2018)

There is no spinning this as a good outcome, it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than try to sell this as a success.

Douglas Ross
Conservative MP, denouncing the UK's concession to the EU of continuing membership of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) until the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.
(March 19, 2018)

The draft protocol on Ireland should not come as a surprise or a shock it translates last December's agreement into a legal text. For us this is not an Irish issue. This is a European issue.

Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission, addressing a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
(March 13, 2018)

This is why I am a Brexiteer. I remember the entrepreneurial spirit we had in the 1960s before we joined the EU. That entrepreneurial spirit is still there, we see it with the young generation and the internet, which is global.

Sir Michael Caine
reported in The Daily Express.
(March 12, 2018)

In Paris, no one talks about Brexit... life goes on.

Bruno le Maire
French economics minister
(March 7, 2017)

We need to be careful about the political conditions of the ratification for any future deal. This will be a mixed treaty. It will require not only the ratification of the [European] Council and the Parliament, but each of the 27 national parliaments by unanimity.

Michel Barnier
EU Brexit negotiator, speaking at BusinessEurope Day.
(March 1, 2017)

I wouldn't dream of asking him. As far as I'm concerned, we're here to develop a political agenda. That's what I'm doing. I don't ask my staff any personal questions.

Jeremy Corbyn
UK opposition leader, in an interview with GQ magazine, replying to the question if he had ever asked Seumas Milne, his director of strategy suspected of undermining Labour support for the Remain campaign in the EU referendum, how he had voted on Brexit.
(February 26, 2018)

British exit is a dagger pointed at the heart of the European Union project and they're going to try and make Britain pay - at least their political leaders are. They fear that a successful Brexit will encourage others to do the same.

John Bolton
newly appointed US National Security Advisor.
(September 1, 2017)

I think the borders and the boundaries are going to be going up all over the European continent.

Michael Portillo
former UK Defence Secretary, commenting on the continuing Europe-wide populist surge in Germany's elections
(30 September 2017)

Am I impatient about it [Brexit], do I want to get it done as fast as possible? Yes, absolutely. Do I want the delay to go on longer than two years? Not a second more... There is no point in coming out of the EU and then remaining in rotational orbit around it. That is the worst of both worlds. You have to be able to have control of your regulatory framework.

Boris Johnson
UK Foreign Secretary in an interview
(30 September 2017)

I think she [Theresa May] chose Florence because Florentine politics in the 15th century made her feel at home. Backstabbing, betrayal... It is an environment that she recognized very well.

Guy Verhofstadt
the European Parliament's lead Brexit negotiator, mocking Theresa May's Brexit speech in Florence, speaking in London
(29 September 2017)

At the end of October, we will not have sufficient progress. I'm saying that there will be no sufficient progress... unless miracles would happen.

Jean-Claude Juncker
EU Commission President, on prospects for starting Brexit trade talks, speaking at EU summit in Tallin
(29 September 2017)

As far as the proposals [by French president Emmanuel Macron, for intensive Eurozone integration post-Brexit] were concerned, there was a high level of agreement between Germany and France. We must still discuss the details, but I am of the firm conviction that Europe can't just stay still but must continue to develop.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor, speaking at the EU summit in Tallinn, Estonia
(28 September 2017)

In a few years, if it so wishes, Britain could regain its place (in the EU).

Emmanuel Macron
President of France
(26 September 2017)

It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through parliament and is a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal from the European Union.

Theresa May
UK Prime Minsister, in a speech in Florence
(22 September 2017)

It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through parliament and is a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal from the European Union.

David Davis
UK Minister for Exiting the European Union, [referring to the EU Repeal Bill]
(13 July 2017)

This will be hell.

Tim Farron
outgoing leader of the UK Liberal Democratic Party [referring to the expected parliamentary struggle over the EU Repeal Bill]
(13 July 2017)

Otherwise, if all of your companies can operate from London, which will start tax dumping, with the same rights as in Paris or Frankfurt, they will all leave. I want the TTF [sic]. I want a FTT [financial transactions tax] that applies in a coherent, meaningful and effective space.

President Macron of France,
[referring to a tax on financial transactions]
(13 July 2017)

The people voted and, you know, they have to get on with it... You had the vote, this is what won, let's get on with it... I think, you know, to be in control of your own country is a good move.

Ringo Starr
The Beatles' drummer, on BBC Newsnight programme
(13 September 2017)

You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.

Donald Tusk,
President of the European Council [expressing the hope that Britain might reverse Brexit by quoting John Lennon]
(22 June 2017)

I voted in favour of Brexit. I did it because once I heard Jean-Claude Juncker speak. This man was the former Prime Minister of a country almost as small as a radio station. I heard this man say what he felt David Cameron, the then Prime Minister of my country and a person I had voted for, had to do. Who had elected Juncker? And what for? It seemed like a joke to me.

Sir Michael Caine
speaking to Spanish newspaper El Mundo
(8 April 2017)

We don't know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a 'no deal' as result of 'no negotiations'.

Donald Tusk,
President of the European Council. June 9, 2017

This is a serious moment for the UK economy. The priority must be for politicians to get their house in order and form a functioning government, reassure the markets and protect our resilient economy.

Carolyn Fairbairn,
director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). June 9, 2017

We could see a fair amount of volatility in the coming days and weeks unless Westminster's response to this surprise result is remarkably smooth, which is unlikely. History tells us that hung parliaments are not durable, let alone with Brexit looming large.

Lucy O'Carroll,
chief economist at Aberdeen Asset Management

Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex [Brexit] negotiations even more complicated.

Guy Verhofstadt,
the EU Parliament's Brexit negotiator, June 9, 2017

Theresa May's authority in her own party is broken. She has become a weak prime minister and negotiator. It is quite possible she will go.

Elmar Brok MEP,
Brexit representative of German chancellor Angela Merkel's faction in the European Parliament. June 9, 2017

We're entering into a perfect storm of chaos and the uncertainty is set to unleash mayhem across global financial markets, at least in the short term, as they react to the growing question marks hanging over the British parliamentary landscape

Nigel Green,
chief executive of financial services firm deVere Group. June 9, 2017

Any Brexit deal requires a strong & stable [mockery of UK Conservative election slogan] understanding of the complex issues involved. The clock is ticking - it's time to get real.

Guy Verhofstadt,
the EU Parliament's Brexit negotiator

The Europeans are proposing to make it impossible for European institutions to access London clearing of the euro. What will this mean in practice? One, it's a return to currency protectionism and nationalism, which will be a deeply, deeply bad event...

Michael Spencer
CEO of financial technology company Nex Group
(25 April 2017)

Britain should not have advantages after the exit that other countries don't have.

Wolfgang Schauble
German finance minister
(May 2017)

During the Conservative Party leadership campaign I was described by one of my colleagues as a bloody difficult woman. And I said at the time the next person to find that out will be Jean-Claude Juncker

Theresa May
British Prime Minister
(2 May 2017)

The newly elected U.S. president [Donald Trump] was happy that Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same. If he goes on like that, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas.

Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission
(April 2017)

I have the impression some in Great Britain still harbour illusions about it [Brexit]. That would be a waste of time.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor, to German parliament
(27 April 2017)

Theresa May is living on another galaxy, she is deluding herself.

Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission, to Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
(April 2017)

We need a general election and we need one now. The negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election. Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.

Theresa May
British Prime Minister
(April 2017)

There is nothing to win in this process and I am talking about both sides. In essence, this is about damage control.

Donald Tusk
European Council President
(29 March 2017)

We should work together to minimise disruption and give as much certainty as possible.

Theresa May
Letter to Donald Tusk, triggering Brexit process
(29 March 2017)

The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit.

Tony Blair
former UK Prime minister
(17 February 2017)

Trump said Brexit is going to happen, and it happened. Everybody thought I was crazy.

President Donald Trump
(15 January 2017)

You cannot have one foot in and one foot out. If we start to dismantle the internal market by agreeing to the demands of a country that wants to leave, then we will be bringing about the end of Europe.

Jean-Claude Juncker
European Commission President
(7 October 2016)

Brexit negotiations won't be easy. If we don't say full access to the internal market is linked to full freedom of movement, then a movement will spread in Europe where everyone just does whatever they want.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor
(6 October 2016)

Indices of policy uncertainty are about one and a quarter times their pre-crisis averages in the US and Japan, and as high as three times in China. In the UK, progress since the financial crisis has been more than totally unwound this year with the measure having risen to five times its pre-crisis average by the start of the official [EU] referendum campaign.

Mark Carney
Governor of the Bank of England
(30 June 2016)

The Eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle and it will now not be put back. EU's finished, EU's dead.

Nigel Farage
leader of UK Independence Party (UKIP)
(24 June 2016)

Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries.

Marine Le Pen
leader of French National Front
(24 June 2016)

I sort of feel certain we should come out.

Sir Michael Caine
(5 April 2016)

The UK economy enters a period of huge uncertainty - and weakness as a result...

Kit Juckes
strategist at Societe Generale
(5 April 2016)

We must recognize that, if the UK leaves the EU, other countries may show less appetite for making agreements with a UK of 63m customers than they do with an EU of 500m customers. Negotiations to replace EU trade deals would take years, without any guarantee that we would get the same quantity or quality of deals.

Sean McGovern
Lloyd's Chief Risk Officer
(10 February 2016)

I am not saying there are not financial stability risks in the UK, and there are economic risks to the UK, but there are greater short term risks on the continent in the transition than there are in the UK.

Mark Carney
Governor of the Bank of England
(11 January 2017)