Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt (born 11 April 1953) is a Belgian politician who served as the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament from 2009 to 2019, MEP for Dutch-speaking Belgium since 2009 and the Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 to 2008.
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- So, Mr Barroso, the most important conclusion of today has to be the message that you gave. You gave it here, very well and to much applause, but now you have to repeat it in another place, somewhere in Brussels, at the Council. I am no longer there, but I am sure we will know what you say there. You will have to repeat it there, telling them that the intergovernmental method is a bad method that cannot work. And why can it not work? Because it needs unanimity; the Polish know about that, as Poland disappeared in the 18th century because of the unanimity rule in the Polish Parliament: that is history and reality. The same could happen in Europe if we continue with this unanimity rule. We have to abolish it. Colleagues, this is the real problem. Why is there such a problem in this crisis? Because the Member States are reluctant to transfer new sovereignty and powers to the European Union. We all know that the only way out of this crisis is a new transfer of powers to the European Union and to the European institutions. That is at stake.
- In a debate in the European Parliament (28 September 2011)
- [Brexit] is stupidity for a country with 53 percent of its exports going to the Continent and to the rest of Europe. It’s even so stupid that Britain’s best friends, the U.S., don’t understand it all.
- Guy Verhofstadt’s 7 best Brexit burns (Quoted in August 2016; Said in January 2013)
- The only winners from a Brexit would be Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin; who would relish a divided Europe.
- Guy Verhofstadt’s 7 best Brexit burns (Quoted in August 2016; Said in February 2016)
- I know that within the Tory party the hard Brexiteers are compared to the leaders of the French revolution. I think Gove is Brissot, and Boris Johnson is Danton, and Rees-Mogg is compared to Robespierre. We should not forget that the efforts of these men were not appreciated by the common man they claimed to represent – because they all ended up on the guillotine. So that’s important to remind [them].
- There is only one pro-European party in Britain and it is the Lib Dems.
- I think there will be huge support for Remain – that’s very clear. We’re going to see it... I’m pretty sure that there will be great support and certainly for the most pro-European party: the Lib Dems.
- If the UK doesn’t pay what is due, the EU will not negotiate a trade deal.
- I wanted to be sure that there would be no automatic deportation for people after that period because it can be people who are very vulnerable
- Said after gaining assurances from the UK government that EU citizens would not be deported if they failed to apply for settled status before the UK leaves the EU. Brexit: UK has ruled out automatic deportation of EU citizens, says Verhofstadt (17 January 2020)
- It is sad to see a country leaving that twice liberated us, [that has] twice given its blood to liberate Europe