Europe

Brexit: Key quotes from non-UK figures

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jens Stoltenberg: "We must realize that after Brexit, 80% of NATO spending will be met by countries that are not EU members"

Key quotes from high-profile European and other figures on Britain's EU referendum, as compiled by BBC Monitoring between 11-17 November.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

"We must realize that after Brexit, 80% of NATO spending will be met by countries that are not EU members. And three of the four battalions deployed in Eastern Europe next year will be led by non-EU member countries (the United States, Canada, and the UK). There is no other way of working together." (Interview with Bruxelles 2 website, 13 November)

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Boris Johnson: "I think he's not offering the British people a fair view of what is available"

EU finance ministers' Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem

"[Boris Johnson] is saying things that are intellectually impossible, politically unavailable, so I think he's not offering the British people a fair view of what is available and what can be achieved in these negotiations. There is no win-win situation. It's going to be a lose-lose situation and in the best case, if we set aside all emotions and try to reach an agreement that is least damaging to both of us, we can minimise the damages." (BBC Newsnight interview, 16 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Angela Merkel is holding firm on the issue of freedom of movement within the EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"Were we to make an exception for the free movement of people with Britain, this would mean we would endanger principles of the whole internal market in the European Union, because everyone else will then want these exceptions. In my firm view, we cannot wobble on the basic principle of free movement of people." (Speaking to German employers as reported by Reuters, 15 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Markus Kerber: "It must be a priority for the German government and the EU to defend the single market as a crucial European project"

Head of the Federation of Germany Industries, Markus Kerber

"It must be a priority for the German government and the EU to defend the single market as a crucial European project, because the business ties of the German economy with the remaining EU countries go far beyond economic relations between Germany and Britain." (Email to Reuters, 14 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Axel Schaefer said it is in the UK's interest for them to "seek close cooperation with their EU partners" regarding security and foreign policy

Head of the German Social Democrats' Brexit task force, Axel Schaefer

"Regarding foreign and security policy in general, the UK can withdraw from the European Union, but they cannot withdraw from the European map. With a more inward-looking Trump administration, it is in United Kingdom's own interest to seek close cooperation with their EU partners in this field." (The Times interview, 12 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (R) with UK counterpart Philip Hammond

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

"Europe cannot blink after Brexit, after the election of Donald Trump, with all the questions being raised, Europe must stand together more, be more active and go more on the offensive even if it is just to protect itself." (Reuters, 9 November)

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ewald Nowotny spoke of "chaos around the handling of Brexit"

Austrian National Bank governor Ewald Nowotny

"I must confirm that there is chaos around the handling of Brexit. Things are under way, but in a disorderly manner." (Die Presse, 15 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Viktor Orban: "One of the countries who will lose most from the British departure from the EU is Hungary"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

"We have around 50,000 workers being employed in British companies in Hungary and we have good import-export numbers with the British, and they are improving. So we're not just interested in the side of the coin that relates to free movement, but in free trade as well. We are interested in finding an equilibrium... We don't need a 'soft' or 'hard' Brexit, but a 'fair' Brexit." (Daily Telegraph interview, 11 November)

"One of the countries who will lose most from the British departure from the EU is Hungary. The British were strategic partners on many issues inside the EU, so we are weaker now than we were. So we're sad about that, but at the same time I think there is obviously a life outside the European Union and if a sovereign nation is so brave as to make that decision, then we wish them good luck." (Daily Telegraph interview, 11 November)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Robert Fico said that a completely new model is required for relations with Britain

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

"The settlement between the United Kingdom and the EU will require finding a completely new model. It probably won't be possible to apply the model for relations with Switzerland and Norway. Relations with Britain are so specific that we have to come up with a new model." (Slovak Spectator website, 14 November)

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Topics

More on this story