Brexit: Key quotes from non-UK figures

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker signs the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on at the European Council in Brussels on 30 October 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jean-Claude Juncker (l) rejected suggestions that the EU-Canada trade deal trade - signed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (r) - was a model for Brexit

Key quotes from high-profile European and other figures on Britain's EU referendum, as compiled by BBC Monitoring between 27 October-1 November.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

"I don't see any relation between what we are signing today and the Brexit issue." (Speaking to reporters while arriving for the signing of the EU-Canada trade deal, via Reuters, 30 October)

"I believe you have to respect this referendum result. It is above all up to the British to find their own way in this situation. I believe we would be making a mistake if we, the commission, conducted the negotiations to ensure that at the end of the day, the British hold a second referendum." (Interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, 31 October)

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with Germany's Council of Economic Experts that the economic impact of Brexit needs to be minimised, but without encouraging EU "cherry-picking"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"[The EU's four basic freedoms] will be the basis on which we conduct negotiations. We have to take two things into account: First, the need to ensure that our relationship with Britain remains positive and friendly, and the loss of momentum for the economy is kept to a minimum, because Britain is a key trade partner. On the other hand, we have to keep the 27 [non-UK] member states together and not set standards that allow everyone in Europe to cherry-pick what they happen to want." (Press statement on the annual report by Germany's Council of Economic Experts for 2016/17, 2 November)

"We should conduct these talks with Switzerland as if the Great Britain issue never existed. I can only say that the German position hasn't changed with Great Britain's decision. These are two completely different issues." (Speaking about the Swiss-EU talks on the free movement of people, at a joint news conference in Berlin with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, 2 November)

Germany's Council of Economic Experts

"There is still a chance to prevent an exit, or at least negotiate a successor agreement that minimises the damage for both sides, through constructive negotiations." (Annual report for 2016/17)

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Enda Kenny warned Brexit negotiations could be "vicious"

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

"The other side of this argument may well get quite vicious after a while, because there are those around the European table who take a very poor view of the fact that Britain decided to leave. That argument, I think, will be fought very toughly, in a really difficult negotiating sense." (Speaking at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, 2 November, via The Irish News)

"If it becomes obsessed with what the UK might or might not get, then Europe itself loses the plot." (Speaking at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, 2 November, via The Irish News)

"What the British don't seem to understand is that many of the countries in Eastern Europe are deeply hurt and angry at the outcome of the Brexit referendum, particularly at the way their nationals were targeted as undesirable immigrants." (Speaking at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, 2 November, via The Irish Times)

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Charles Flanagan warned that Ireland cannot allow Brexit to lead to the return of a "hard border" with Northern Ireland

Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan

"In the course of the departure negotiations, London must recognise the fact that a majority of the population in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the European Union. The issue of the land border between our two countries is unique. And that separation must remain invisible. The Irish people cannot be divided." (Interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, 30 October)

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Estonia Foreign Minister Jurgen Ligi's country takes over the EU presidency in July 2017 after the UK pulled out of its scheduled stint

Estonian Foreign Minister Jurgen Ligi

"The course has been set for Brexit, which means an enormous burden for the [EU] apparatus... Of course, we would like Brexit to be as painless as possible to Europe and our friends in the United Kingdom." (Interview with the Estonian newspaper Eesti Paevaleht, 28 October)

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Topics