Europe

Brexit: Key quotes from non-UK figures

Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sweden's Magdalena Andersson: "The softer Brexit is, the better"

Key quotes from high-profile European and other figures on Britain's EU referendum, as compiled by BBC Monitoring between 18-24 November.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Norbert Hofer suggests possible Austrian referendum

Austrian Freedom Party far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer

"If the answer to Brexit is to make a centralised European Union, where the national parliaments are disempowered and where the union is governed like a state, ... we would have to hold a referendum in Austria, because it would lead to a constitutional change." (BBC interview, 24 November)

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Image caption Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "Brexit is an auspicious development"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

"I see Brexit as an auspicious development. Similar things can happen in other countries. There is grumbling in France and also in Italy." (Daily Sabah, 19 November)

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Image caption Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble: "No a la carte menu"

German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schaeuble

"Until the UK's exit is complete, Britain will certainly have to fulfil its commitments. Possibly there will be some commitments that last beyond the exit… even, in part, to 2030… Also, we cannot grant any generous rebates. There is no a la carte menu. There is only the whole menu or none. Without membership of the internal market, without acceptance of the four basic freedoms of the internal market, there can, of course, be no passporting, no free access for financial products or for financial actors." (Financial Times, 18 November)

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Image caption Guy Verhofstadt: "Cannot risk four basic freedoms"

European Parliament's lead negotiator on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt

"We agreed… that the process needs to start as early as possible and finish in any case before the next European elections… The window for negotiations is more or less 14-15 months, let's be honest." (Politico, following talks with UK Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis, 22 November)

"The freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and of people is the basic element of the European Union. We will certainly never accept whatever development where these four freedoms are put at risk." (EU Observer, 22 November)

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Image caption Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan: "Europe cannot remain immobile"

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan

"We don't want conflicts with Europe, but it is time to learn the lesson which comes from Brexit, and from the election of [Donald] Trump. If Europe doesn't change, it will run a big risk. There is widespread discontent. In the United States, in Europe, and also in Italy. And the EU is not seen as the solution, but as the problem. Europe cannot afford to remain immobile. It must put development, growth and investments, and jobs at the centre of its agenda." (Interview with Corriere della Sera, 20 November)

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Image caption Manfred Weber "heard nothing new from David Davis"

Head of the European People's Party Group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber

"Unfortunately I haven't heard anything new from David Davis today. For us it's clear - the four fundamental freedoms are not negotiable. Brexit means Brexit, so we're going to have to cut back on our relationships, it's not a cherry-picking situation at all." (Financial Times, following talks with David Davis, 22 Nobember)

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Image caption Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: "Our bilateral ties do not change"

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

"Portugal has had an important role over the years, because it is very involved in the EU... It has known the United Kingdom for a long time. It is not a relationship of today; it is an age-old relationship. And when people know each other for a long time, when countries know one another for a long time, it makes their relationship easier. The world changes, Europe changes, but our bilateral relations do not change." (Jornal de Noticias, 16 November)

Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson

"From our point of view, the softer Brexit is, the better. But at the same time, there cannot be any 'cherry picking'. A soft or hard Brexit sounds very black or white… But there is a big grey area in between and it is clear that's where we will end up." (Reuters interview, 17 November)

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Image caption Robert Fico not sure what Britain wants

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

"I'm not sure whether the UK knows what it wants. The split will be painful, but should it be we who suffer? The biggest loss for the EU would be if the UK comes out from the negotiations a winner." (Bloomberg, 22 November)

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Image caption Monica Maeland: "Soft Brexit best for Norway"

Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Maeland

"Britain is perhaps our most important economic partner. We want the future cooperation and trade conditions to be as good as today. The best for Norway is a 'soft Brexit', which would keep Britain as closely tied to the common market as possible." (Reuters, 22 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.

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