News

Chief EP Brexit Negotiator 
to Speak at WTM London Leaders’ Lunch

Chief EP Brexit Negotiator 
to Speak at WTM London Leaders’ Lunch

The European Parliament’s chief negotiator of Britain’s exit from the European Union, Guy Verhofstadt, is the keynote speaker at the exclusive WTM Leaders’ Lunch on the first day of WTM London 2017.

The WTM Leaders’ Lunch is a prestigious invitation-only networking event with 200 pre-eminent heads of commercial travel organisations.

Guy Verhofstadt, Chief Brexit Negotiator, European Parliament

Guy Verhofstadt, Chief Brexit Negotiator, European Parliament

The Belgian MEP was Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 until 2008, and is now leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament.

He is charged with leading the European MEPs’ negotiating team, and any deal on the UK’s relationship with the rest of the EU after leaving, which will have to be ratified by the European Parliament.

Verhofstadt is among the top brass in Europe dealing with the negotiations, alongside Donald Tusk, European Council President; Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission; and Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the European Commission.

A keen advocate of reform in the EU, Verhofstadt wants Europe to focus more on issues such as economic crises, crime and the disparity between rich and poor.

He supports greater integration within the EU, with a single currency, treasury and economic policy – believing Europe can be a superpower “if it escapes its history and embraces revolution”.

Verhofstadt has written about Europe with books such as The United States of Europe, The New Age of Empires, and Emerging from the Crisis: How Europe Can Save the World.

Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London, said: “I am delighted we have someone as prestigious and influential as Guy Verhofstadt at our Leaders’ Lunch. The UK’s exit from the EU is considered by many to be our generation’s greatest challenge, and it will bring huge changes to the travel trade. Many in our industry are deeply concerned about freedom of movement for travellers and workers – so to hear directly from the European Parliament’s negotiator is an exceptional opportunity.

“Our Leaders’ Lunches have a reputation for bringing top speakers to the captains of the travel industry and Guy is first-rate. He is a fantastic speaker and will offer inspiration and practical advice to our senior travel industry audience at a crucial time in the UK’s, Europe’s – and indeed the world’s – history.”

The WTM Leaders’ Lunch is an invitation-only event, taking place from 11.00-13.30 on Monday 6th November 2017 in Platinum Suite 3 & 4.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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