Top EU Official Warns Brexit Will Be Reversed: 'It Will Happen'
Guy Verhofstadt says Britain will return to the European Union after taking a 'sabbatical'
A top EU official has warned that Brexit will be reversed after Britain takes a short "sabbatical" from the European Union before rejoining again.
The chairman of the EU's Brexit Steering Group, Guy Verhofstadt, said he agrees with the prediction made by a British MEP that Brexit will be reversed, saying, "It will happen."
Verhofstadt, one of the bloc's most senior figures, was responding to comments by Labour's Seb Dance who insists the UK will rejoin the EU in the future.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today show, Verhofstadt said: "I think that will happen, yes, (but) it's difficult to say when.
"There will be a generation, the young generation coming in the coming decades, who will say later, 'We want to go back'.
"It will happen. Maybe you will not see it in my life, but it will happen."
Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU in a referendum Britain will - barring any unforeseen circumstances - leave the bloc on 31 January.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal is set to become law in the coming days, with the European Parliament then required to ratify it.
Once Britain has left, London and Brussels will start negotiating the details of the future relationship between the two sides.
This will come into effect at the end of the transition period at the end of December.
One of the key issues that have been thrown up by the 2016 Brexit vote is the future status of British citizens living on the continent and European citizens who call Britain home.
Around three million EU citizens live in the UK - and they have until at least July 2021 to make an application for settled status.
The scheme aims to help EU citizens and their families live and work in the UK once freedom of movement comes to an end as a result of Brexit.
Mr. Verhofstadt also said he had been given assurances by that there would be no automatic deportation for those who miss the deadline to apply.
The Home Office said it has already "made it clear" that extensions will be granted if there are "reasonable grounds" for missing the deadline.
The latest figures show that more than 2.7 million applications to the settled status scheme have been made so far.
A total of 2,450,100 have been approved, leaving a backlog of more than 300,000 cases.
Six "serious or persistent" criminals have been refused settled status.