Verhofstadt STILL refuses to accept Brexit as he declares Britain has a 'European destiny'

Brexit: Bill Cash says Churchill and Thatcher ‘would be proud’

The European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator and Chair of the Brexit Steering Group have been a fierce critic of the UK Government’s position since the historic vote to leave the EU in June 2016. And he could not resist taking another swipe just hours before the country cuts its ties with Brussels.

Brexit doesn’t change the reality that Britain is a European country, with a European destiny!

Guy Verhofstadt

The Belgian MEP tweeted: “Dear Britain, in your absence, we will look after the single market you did so much to build!

“We may not share your definition of sovereignty but we part as friends and allies.

“Brexit doesn’t change the reality that Britain is a European country, with a European destiny!”

Guy Verhofstadt has fired a parting shot at the UK (Image: PA)

The EU (Future Relationship) Act received the backing of the Commons and Lords as the Government rushed approval through both Houses in a single day.

It was announced that the legislation had been granted royal assent at 12.25am this morning, signing the agreement finally reached between the UK and EU on Christmas Eve into law.

The Act paves the way for the deal to take effect at 11pm tonight when the current Brexit transition period expires.

Mr Verhofstadt had earlier complained the historic Brexit trade deal between the EU and UK was “less ambitious” than the bloc was hoping.

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Boris Johnson signs the Brexit treaty (Image: PA)

Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel performed a brief ceremony in Brussels (Image: PA)

He said: “Finally a historic and unprecedented deal in the interest of all is reached.

“While less ambitious than we wanted, through binding arbitration it fully preserves the single market.

“Thanks to Michel Barnier our Union came out of these negotiations more united and stronger.

“I hope future UK politicians will build on this partnership so we can regain the close relationship the EU and UK deserves.

“It will be a first step in the return of the UK into the European family.”

In a statement after the deal cleared Parliament, the Prime Minister said: “I want to thank my fellow MPs and peers for passing this historic bill and would like to express my gratitude to all of the staff here in Parliament and across Government who have made today possible.

“The destiny of this great country now resides firmly in our hands. We take on this duty with a sense of purpose and with the interests of the British public at the heart of everything we do.

“11pm on the 31st December marks a new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the EU as their biggest ally. This moment is finally upon us and now is the time to seize it.”

Tory Eurosceptics were jubilant, declaring that the “battle for Brexit” had finally been won.

Veteran Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash said: “Like Alexander the Great, Boris has cut the Gordian Knot.”

Mark Francois, one of the self-styled Spartans who held out against Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, said they could now “lower our spears”.