José Manuel Barroso adresses Brexit at Estoril Forum

In a passionate and wide-ranging address at the recent Estoril Forum held last month near Lisbon, Professor Jose Manuel Barroso called on his former European Commission colleagues to take a positive stance on the Brexit fall-out. “We need to go away from hard feelings or vengeful attitudes and find a new basis for a relationship,” he said. “We have to be responsible, we have to mitigate problems,” he added later on. Examining the causes for the vote, he said he has warned Mr Cameron that he cannot suddenly “praise the EU for two months” having spent “some 20 years attacking the EU.” He did confirm his view that English would remain the number one language inside the EU, even without the UK. Finally, he warned, presciently certainly given the continuing upheaval of events in the UK : ” There are many more surprises to come in the Brexit crisis. It too early to measure all effects.”

The Forum was organised by our colleagues from the Institute of Political Studies at the Catholica University, with our support. The Europaeum runs an annual international debate there, this year focussing on the Brexit crisis. Professor Tim Garton Ash from Oxford also gave a keynote address on free speech. For more follow @flatherings on twitter.