Despite the European commission chief’s ambitions, opposing national interests may mean some policies will remain slogans

Never mind the Brexit. If Jean-Claude Juncker had a message for the UK in his state of the union speech on Wednesday, this was it.

“[Brexit] is not the be all and end all,” the European commission president said, devoting around two minutes to the trauma of Britain’s EU exit in an address that ran for one hour and spanned a range of topics from geopolitics to fishfingers. “The wind is back in Europe’s sails,” he declared. And it appears the EU is sailing in a more federalist direction.

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