Europe's Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt is 'sure' the UK will rejoin the EU one day

The European Parliament’s Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt says he is ‘sure’ the UK will rejoin the EU one day (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

European parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofdstadt has said he is ‘sure’ the UK will rejoin the EU one day.

Speaking as MPs prepare to vote on whether to support a no-deal Brexit following their rejection of Theresa May’s withdrawal deal,  Mr Verhofstadt said a younger generation would take the decision to “bring Britain back in to the European family”.

He tweeted: “I have always said #Brexit is also a failure of the European Union. The place of the United Kingdom is in the European Union. I am sure a younger generation will one day take another decision and bring Britain back into the European family. #EPlenary.”

Earlier Mr Verhofstadt, who is the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, warned against an extension of Article 50 without good reason.

He said: “…I am against every extension, whether an extension of one day, one week, even 24 hours, if it is not based on a clear opinion of the House of Commons for something, that we know what they want.”

He warned that a long extension, that could require the UK to take part in European elections, would play into the hands of Hard Brexiteers like Nigel Farage, who is a member of the European Parliament.

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Mr Verhofstadt said: “The only thing we will do, we will give a new mandate to Mr Farage. That’s exactly what he wants. Why does he want that? For two reasons.

“First of all, he can continue to have a salary that he can transfer to his offshore company.

“And the second thing is that he can continue to do his dirty work in the European Union, that is to try to destroy the European Union from within.”

Reacting to Theresa May’s defeat in the Commons on Tuesday night, Mr Verhofstadt called for the UK to put “Queen and country” before party politics.

Mr Verhofstadt told MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg: “Please make up your minds in London, because this uncertainty cannot continue. Not for us, not for Britain and certainly not for our citizens.”

He urged MPs in Britain to find a cross-party majority for a deal, adding: “Queen and country needs to come first.”