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BRUS­SELS: Bri­tain will re­gret leav­ing the Euro­pean Union, the pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has warned.

Speak­ing in his an­nual state of the union ad­dress in Stras­bourg Jean-claude Juncker said the EU would re­spect the will of the Bri­tish peo­ple but that the bloc would “move on” from the UK’S de­par­ture.

Juncker un­veiled plans for a sum­mit to be held on March 30 2019 – the day af­ter the UK leaves – in or­der to dis­cuss the fu­ture of the bloc. He also used the speech to spell out a ma­jor re­form package for the EU: with a new push for all ap­pli­ca­ble mem­ber states to join the Euro, the ex­pan­sion of the bor­der­less Schen­gen area to Ro­ma­nia and Bul­garia, as well as the merger of the pres­i­den­cies if the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and Euro­pean Coun­cil. He also backed the cre­ation of a new Euro­pean eco­nomics and fi­nance min­is­ter, an idea pro­posed by Macron; as well as re­forms to the Euro­pean Parl that would see some MEPS elected from Euro­pean-wide lists voted on by all coun­tries at once. Juncker’s com­ments on Brexit are a break from last year’s state of the union, where he point­edly de­clined to men­tion Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the union.

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