GUY Verhofstadt has lauded London’s European Union-themed New Year’s Eve celebrations that sparked fury amongst Brexiteers.
As clocks struck midnight in Britain’s capital and the skyline was lit up with a flurry of fireworks, the London Eye was transformed into a 443-ft yellow and blue EU flag. And as the skies above the Thames were illuminated the words “London is open” were said in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish. With three months to go until Britain finally quits the Brussels project, Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, claimed it was to promote “that whatever the outcome of Brexit - London is open”.
The Labour Party politician added: “Every year our capital puts on the greatest fireworks show in the world with the spectacular images of our skyline shared all around the globe.
“I’m proud that this year the millions watching around the world will see us send a message of support to more than one million EU citizens who call London their home.
“By paying tribute to our close relationship with Europe as we welcome in the New Year, we will once again show the world that London will always be open.”
Mr Verhofstadt, an influential MEP and the EU Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, leapt to praise the firework display.
Mr Verhofstadt, also a former Belgian prime minister, signed off the gloating online post with a ‘wink’.
Brexiteers were furious with the display, accusing Mr Khan of “politicising” London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, which saw more than 100,000 revellers line the streets.
Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, said: "It’s low, it’s very low to politicise what is an international public event.