THE MAN charged with succeeding Matteo Renzi as Italian Prime Minister has previously suggested Britain may not leave the EU despite the Brexit vote.
Paolo Gentiloni, a Renzi loyalist who served as Foreign Minister, has been asked to form a government by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.Mr Renzi stood down after losing a referendum on constitutional reform last week.
Mr Gentiloni, 62, takes over with Italy facing a banking crisis and a rise in anti-establishment and eurosceptic parties.
Speaking back in July, Mr Gentiloni suggested he would be delighted if Brexit was ignored and suggested the UK Government would be permitted to defy the will of the British people.
He told BBC HARDtalk the UK still had time to change its mind.“If the UK want to change this decision, I will have a glass of Champagne,” he said.
“Well, it’s not up to the Italian foreign minister to decide.
“But, in the last 20 years we saw decisions, referendums in Europe changed by other referendums or even by decisions of the national parliament.”
He used examples from Denmark and France, which have in the past seen referendums on Europe overturned.
A referendum held in Denmark in 1993 saw voters approve the Maastricht Treaty – despite voters rejecting the same agreement the year before.
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