Brexit news latest: Jean-Claude Juncker repeats attack on Boris Johnson as he says PM told ‘so many lies’ in referendum campaign
The president of the European Commission, who is stepping down in the new year, told German magazine Der Speigel that he had also bet on the Brexit campaign winning in the 2016 vote.
While he did not get involved in the referendum campaign, he has now insisted he regrets not countering the “lies” told by Mr Johnson.
Mr Juncker told Der Speigel: “I was one of those early on who was firmly convinced that this referendum would go wrong.
“When then-Prime Minister David Cameron told me on the sidelines of the 2014 G-20 summit in Brisbane that he really wanted to hold a Brexit referendum, I told him: ‘You’re going to lose it.’
“I made a bet with the European commissioner of British nationality at the time, Jonathan Hill: I get a pound from you if the Remainers lose, you get a euro if you win.
“I have that pound today.”
When asked why he did not join in with the Remain team on the campaign trail he said: “[David] Cameron made it clear that he didn’t have any use for me.
“The European Commission is even less popular in Britain than it is on the Continent. I decided not to get involved.
“Looking at it today, I think that was a big mistake. So many lies were told, including by current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that there needed to be a voice to counter them.”