The shocking claim was made by former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb during the European People’s Party (EPP) debate. The public face-off, which took place on Wednesday night, saw the European group’s two candidate for the presidency of the European Commission confronting each other to be chosen by the group as lead candidate at the May 2019 EU elections. But when facing the German leader of the EPP and CSU influential member, Manfred Weber, Mr Stubb decided to be more aggressive towards Britons’ decision to withdraw from the European Union than his political adversary.
Dismissing Brexit as “stupid”, the MEP said: “Brexit is the biggest farce in history.
“Leaving the European Union is like leaving the Internet.
“You can do it, but it’s stupid.”
During the debate, both the candidate refrained from criticising each other and instead chose to praise EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier for the work done at the negotiating table with his British counterpart.
Mr Stubb and Mr Weber also agreed on populism being a threat inside and outside the bloc and on the need to increase the EU’s security and defence capabilities.
Despite the spat to the UK, Mr Stubb, who is the vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), failed to win the favour of EPP leader and lost the race.
This is not the first time Mr Stubb has condemned Brexit.
Last month, he wished British Prime Minister Theresa May “good luck”, saying she faces the toughest challenge of any world leader as she tries to convince both London and Brussels to agree on a divorce deal.
He told CNBC: “Good luck is all I say to Theresa May.”
Mr Stubb added she has the “toughest prime minister job in the world” because “she has to negotiate a package which she knows in the heart of her hearts is not a good deal for the United Kingdom or for Europe.”
He continued: “And on top of that she has her own barking at her ankles from morning to night, so my only advice is just hang in there, good luck and I feel for you.”
Mr Stubb said the destiny of Brexit is not in Brussels’ hands, but depends on politicians in London.
He said: “I have always said from the beginning that I’m sure that the European side will find a compromise and a negotiation solution, but the only thing that at the end of the day can derail Brexit is probably a decision by the Conservative Party, a decision in parliament or a new referendum.
“So the ball I would still say is in the court of the United Kingdom. They have to decide what they do.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.