23:14 GMT31 October 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that Brussels would like the United Kingdom to remain a part of the bloc, calling the country's withdrawal from the European Union "a catastrophe."

    "I still feel that the United Kingdom's exit is a catastrophe. We would like them to stay. And if they want the same, they should be allowed to do so," Juncker said, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

    READ MORE: Second EU Referendum in UK Would Yield Same Results — Economist

    According to Juncker, in the event London leaves in accordance with the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, Article 49 should allow the country to rejoin in the future.

    Brexit negotiations between London and Brussels officially started in June, and are due to be completed by March, 2019. During the talks, the sides are discussing a number of issues, including EU citizens' rights, the financial settlement, and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland among others.

    The decision to leave the bloc has been repeatedly criticized by Scottish politicians, who claim that the outcome of the vote neglected Edinburgh's desire to stay in the European Union. At the same time, the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also remains an obstacle on the agenda of the Brexit talks, as London's pullout might create difficulties for the free movement of goods and workers between Ireland and the Northern Irish counties of the United Kingdom.

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    Tags:
    Brexit, European Commission, EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, United Kingdom
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