Michał Matlak: If there’s Brexit, and there are negotiations on the future relationship, what kind of relationship would you favor?
Guy Verhofstadt: An association agreement—and it should be as deep as possible. Membership is the best option, but if it’s not possible, let’s cooperate in as many domains as possible.
Michał Matlak: What about other member states—are they ready to renounce their sovereignty in a Federal Europe?
Guy Verhofstadt: Well, their sovereignty doesn’t exist in a globalized world. Sovereignty means that you can decide your own path. European states on their own are not able to do that. There’s only European sovereignty, if any. Only then can we decide on the European way of life.
Michał Matlak: What is most likely to happen now with the Brexit negotiations?
Michel Barnier: There are three options: a deal based on the agreement finalized six months ago; withdrawal without a deal; or no Brexit. It will have to be the choice of the UK. During the last three years, we have delivered what the UK wants: leaving the EU, leaving the single market, leaving the customs union [after the Irish “backstop” is resolved]. Even if we regret their decision profoundly, it is their sovereign decision and we have to respect it. But if the UK wants to leave in an orderly manner, this treaty is the only option.
Donald Tusk: I have absolutely no cause for complaint, because there’s nothing worse in politics than boredom. What’s exciting in politics is power, of course, and the real power is at the level of national governments. But politics is also fascinating when it makes it possible to resolve critical situations, to negotiate, to bring others round to your way of thinking—I have more than enough of that in Brussels.
It requires a certain amount of chutzpah for somebody like Obama to be president because he knows there are a number of people who will never forgive him for being half-black. And for the time being America is ungovernable. The Constitution—and all the additions that have been grafted on it—make effective government almost impossible.