Guy Verhofstadt has stated that the United Kingdom rejoining the European Union within the next five years is a “dream” of his.
“I have a dream,” the MEP said, echoing civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech.
Mr Verhofstadt has previously stated that Brexit is “unworkable,” and he has criticised Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for ruling out a return to the EU.
“The devil is not in the details – the very concept of Brexit is unworkable,” he said.
“As long as Starmer continues to rule out rejoining the single market and the EU, both Britain and the EU will suffer.”
But Mr Verhofstadt, veteran MEP and the former European Parliament Brexit coordinator suggested that Sir Keir has his priorities in the right place, saying: “What the Western world needs now is to come together around precisely the areas Starmer mentions: science, technology, research, security, foreign affairs”.
Sir Keir has ruled out a second referendum, taking a “make Brexit work” approach, and has ruled out support for a Swiss-style model of closer economic ties.
The Labour leader has previously stated that there is “no case” for returning to the EU or the single market.
In December, when asked if he could change his mind on the issue, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “No, I don’t think so. We left, and there is no case now for saying ‘go back,’ and back into the single market and customs union.”
Others in the Labour Party, however, have campaigned for Britain to rejoin the EU.
In a speech earlier this month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for a “pragmatic debate” on rejoining the European Union.
He accused ministers of having “select amnesia” when it comes to Brexit, describing it as “one of the root causes of our problems”.
Mr Khan said politicians “can’t keep quiet about the immense damage Brexit is doing”.