Frans Timmermans, the President of the Party of the European Socialists and a candidate to become the next European Commission president, suggested on Wednesday that the UK should “cool down and rethink” Brexit.
Timmermans’ comments came just as the latest YouGov poll suggested that the pro-Brexit Party of Eurosceptic firebrand Nigel Farage could smash the Conservative list by gaining a 27% share of the vote in the European elections set for 23-26 May.
The Tories are polling at 15%, a historical low, while Labour is polling at 22%.
In a debate with Manfred Weber from the European People’s Party (EPP), Timmermans expressed the hope that the six-month Brexit extension that was given to the UK might give London time to “look into the issue again.” Polling in the UK suggests that a call for a second referendum has split the country, though a majority could vote to remain in the EU.
Recent polling has suggested that the UK’s participation in the May elections could bolster the ranks of the European Socialists if Britain’s Labour Party were in contention. The Socialists could end up with 144 seats, while the EPP can expect to emerge as the biggest group with 178 seats.