Speaking to the Strasbourg plenary on Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker noted that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union suggests that a member can rejoin the bloc after completing the withdrawal process.

“Once the British have left under Article 50, Article 49 still exists which allows for a return to EU membership…I would like that,” Juncker told MEPs.

Juncker echoed European Council President Donald Tusk conciliatory statements from the day before about a “change of heart” by the UK public.

“I would like us to treat each other with respect and not abandon one other,” added Juncker, who also said he hopes to facilitate the UK’s readmission to the bloc after Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, however, rejected both EU leaders overtures saying London “respects the (UK) public’s decision”.