During today's debate on Brexit, Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt stressed that today’s vote is not a vote in favour or against Brexit. It is a vote for an orderly Brexit, against a hard Brexit: "If we could have stopped Brexit today by voting "No", I would be the first one who would have recommended it. But that’s sadly not the issue today."
Verhofstadt expressed his deep regret: "It’s indeed sad to see a nation leaving, a great nation that has given us so much: culturally, economically, politically, even its own blood, in two world wars. It’s indeed sad to see the country leaving, that liberated Europe twice."
"Brexit is a failure of the Union, our failure. And there is a lesson to learn from it. The lesson to learn from Brexit is to deeply reform the Union. Only then we can act, only then we can defend our interests, only then we can defend our values."
"The last couple of days, I’ve received hundreds of letters from British citizens saying they desperately want to return. I don’t know what to respond. It’s not in our capacity to decide, but it’s our responsibility to make sure that the Union to which they will return, will be another Union: more effective and more democratic. A Union that will convince all Brits, also those who are sceptical, that their future is our future and that this future lies in Europe."
"So this vote n’est pas un "adieu", ceci n’est qu’un "au revoir".