By speaking so explicitly in public Mr Bourgeois has gone further than leading lights at the EU such as Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.
A couple of weeks ago Mr Tusk said that the UK would remain welcome in the European Union if it decided to stop the Brexit.
It is no secret that Mr Bourgeois believes that the Brexit is a mistake.
“It will be a bad thing for all concerned, for the UK, for the EU and certainly for us (Flanders), as the UK is our 4th most important trading partner”.
Where ever he goes, Mr Bourgeois calls on the British to revoke their decision. “It’s never too late to do so, but it would of course require a formal decision”.
Mr Bourgeois’ spokeswomen told journalists that it isn’t up to him to decide which concrete steps the British need to take. “Now we are sending out the message that we find the Brexit regrettable and that it is never too late to turn back the clock”.
The Flemish Nationalist MEP Sander Loones (photo) says that Mr Bourgeois was speaking on behalf of the entire party. Mr Loones adds that Mr Bourgeois’ call is a response to current events and to the “positions that are being taken in the UK”.
It is no secret that the British government is divided over the UK’s future relationship with the EU post-Brexit. Failure by the EU and UK negotiators to reach an agreement on future relates could cost the UK as much as 8% in economic growth. This scenario could cost Flanders as much as 2.6% of its BNP.
Mr Loones said that with this in mind Mr Bourgeois had wanted to “give a political signal that our links with the UK are very important”.
“The economic impact of the Brexit should not be underestimated”.