European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans said today he would welcome Britain back into the EU "with open arms" if it reconsidered its decision to quit the bloc.
"If at any time they would say, hang on, we've reconsidered, we'd like to stay, I would receive them with open arms," Timmermans told a conference in Prague.
"It's entirely up to them," he added less than a week before the Brexit talks are due to start.
Timmermans joined French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Tuesday that the door was always open for Britain to return while the negotiations on Brexit are under way.
European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said Wednesday the door would remain open but on worse terms than Britain has now.
Timmermans himself nevertheless added he expected Britain to leave the EU.
"We're anxious to know how they want to leave, that's the process we're in right now and I frankly believe they will continue with that and they will leave," he added.
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