European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker lost all pretense of moderation Monday when he issued an emotionally charged call for open borders in Europe to cater to the needs of growing swarms of refugees.
The Luxembourgish politician vented his frustration against Europe’s few remaining border security measures and lambasted the United Kingdom for its citizens’ vote to leave the European Union.
“In the concentration of globalization and European problems, we must not lose our way.”
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“Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians,” Juncker told reporters at the Alpbach Media Academy in Austria. “We have to fight against nationalism. We have the duty not to follow populists but to block the avenue of populists.”
Juncker added, “In the concentration of globalization and European problems, we must not lose our way.”
A spokesperson for the U.K.’s new prime minister, Theresa May, hammered Juncker for his brash comments and defended Britain’s sovereign right to control its own border.
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“This is not something that the prime minister would agree with and, indeed, you have heard the prime minister talk about the views that the British people expressed in the referendum,” the spokesperson said, according to The Telegraph. “The British people think that borders are important, having more control over our borders is important, and that is an issue we need to address.”
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Juncker’s preoccupation with combating nationalism, rather than terrorism, highlights the growing divide between European elites and the populace at large.
Perhaps elites like Juncker are increasingly worried because Brexit — which elites foretold would bring doom and destruction for the U.K. — has actually begun to reap some benefits for the British people.
A Tuesday report from the Confederation of British Industry indicated that British manufacturing firms experienced rising growth in their export orders since the Brexit vote, meaning overseas demand for British products is actually rising.