European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned US President Donald Trump to stop supporting Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
Speaking at the European People's Party annual conference in Malta on Thursday, Juncker said he would encourage the independence of the US states of Texas and Ohio unless Trump stops urging EU countries to follow the Brexit example and leave the EU.
“The newly elected president is delighted to see Britain leave the EU. If he carries on, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas.”
He added that Brexit isn’t the end and it should be a new beginning for the European integration.
Juncker made the comments a day after UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, formally launching the process of leaving the 28-nation bloc.
In January, Trump described the UK’s referendum in June to withdraw from the EU as a “great thing,” arguing that the bloc is heavily influenced by Germany.
Trump also said Brexit signaled the British people’s desire for “their own identity” and predicted that other EU countries would soon follow suit and leave the bloc.
EU leaders have been rattled by Trump's comments on Europe, which they say is aimed at destroying the integrity of the bloc by advocating other nations to follow Brexit.
In late January, French President Francois urged European leaders to form a united front against Trump's stance and remarks.
"Whenever there are statements coming from the president of the United States on Europe and whenever he talks of Brexit as a model for other countries, I believe we should respond," Hollande said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her pro-European allies have also called for a united Europe. “If we act together in Europe, we can do it much better than if we do things on our own in a world that isn’t sleeping,” she said.