March 18, 2017 / 5:46 PM / in 7 months

No other countries will quit EU after Britain: EU chief Juncker

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is not worried about other EU countries leaving the bloc after Britain because Brexit will make them see it is not a good option, he said in a newspaper interview.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during a debate on the future of the E.U. to mark the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Asked by Bild am Sonntag newspaper if other member states would follow Britain’s example in quitting, Juncker said: “No. Britain’s example will make everyone realise that it’s not worth leaving.”

He added: “On the contrary, the remaining member states will fall in love with each other again and renew their vows with the European Union.”

The EU’s 27 leaders plan to declare “Europe is our common future” during a meeting in Rome next week to mark 60 years of the bloc.

Juncker said Britain would need to get used to being treated as a non-member.

“Half memberships and cherry-picking aren’t possible. In Europe you eat what’s on the table or you don’t sit at the table,” he added.

Juncker said more countries would join the EU in future, although not during his time in office, which runs until 2019, because none of the candidates fulfils the conditions yet.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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