Why ‘pompous’ Juncker has to go, by Vince the arch-Remainer
SIR Vince Cable l ast ni ght launched a new verbal assault on EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, branding him ‘ pompous, self- important and overpaid’.
The Lib Dem leader called for Mr Juncker to be sacked and mocked his ‘vision’ of a United States of Europe. In a reference to his reported drinking habits, Sir Vince said: ‘Since Mr Juncker has several visions, perhaps he should go and see an optician.’
Fervent pro-European Sir Vince said Juncker should be replaced by someone ‘ more attuned to reality and public opinion’.
His comments, made at the start of his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth, come after outspoken Eurocrat Juncker, who earns nearly £ 300,000 a year, said Britain would ‘regret’ Brexit and set out new plans to expand the EU.
In a move bound to be seen as a way of countering criticism that the anti-Brexit Lib Dems are ‘too soft’ on Brussels, Sir Vince said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday: ‘Juncker embodies many of the EU’s failings. He is pompous, self-important and overpaid.
‘It is people like him who give the European project a bad name. Juncker puts off a lot of people in Britain who would otherwise be well disposed to the EU.
‘ Just because my party is against Brexit does not mean we are not prepared to be strong critics of the EU.’
Figures like Juncker were to blame for public resentment of an elite that had a ‘sense of entitlement and a lack of humility,’ said Sir Vince, adding: ‘People in power have to be sensitive enough to know it’s there – but Juncker just doesn’t get it.’ Earlier this week he described Juncker as an ‘extreme federalist’.
Sir Vince has called for a second EU referendum to be held at the end of the Brexit talks in 2019, in the hope that the result of the last one can be overturned. If he succeeds, he said replacing Juncker would be his next objective.
In contrast, Sir Vince said he had ‘a lot of time for’ EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – and recalled wryly that when he was Business Secretary in the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Government, Barnier travelled to London on a mission to discover how the UK, which might now leave the single market, was ‘implementing it more enthusiastically’ than other EU countries.
Sir Vince vented his fury with Juncker at a private meeting with senior EU diplomats last week. He told them: ‘If you want to help us keep Britain in the EU, the first thing you can do is ensure we hear a lot less from Mr Juncker.’
RIDICULE: Sir Vince Cable, left, has mocked Jean-Claude Juncker