The EU boss said he was not “stupid” after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivered his Brexit speech in London this afternoon in a bid to unite Remainers and Brexiteers.
Jean-Claude Juncker said dismissed the claim he wanted to build a European superstate and accused some in the British political establishment of “pretending that I am a stupid stubborn federalist”.
He insisted he was “strictly against a European superstate”, telling a press conference in Brussels: “Some in the British political society are against the truth, pretending that I am a stupid, stubborn federalist, that I am in favour of a European superstate.
“I am strictly against a European superstate. We are not the United States of America, we are the European Union, which is a rich body because we have these 27, or 28, nations.
Ex-European Parliament president Martin Schulz, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned member states who refuse to join his new superstate must leave.
He called for a new treaty to formally convert the EU into the United States of Europe, along the lines of the United States, though bizarrely claimed this was “no threat” to individual countries.
Mr Johnson today warned would be “mad” to end up with a Brexit settlement that does not allow the UK to enjoy the “economic freedoms” of leaving the EU during a major speech in London.
The Foreign Secretary said “Brexit can be grounds for much more hope than fear”, and warned it would be a “disastrous mistake” to seek to thwart the result of the referendum.
Mr Johnson said leaving the EU would mean we “stop paying huge sums” to Brussels and would be able to use some of the money to fund the NHS.
It would also mean being able to take back control of borders and laws, he insisted.