‘Just because you lost!’ Verhofstadt lambasted on Twitter after his latest Brexit jibe

Guy Verhofstadt rants at Nigel Farage in 2012 EU speech

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And in a reference to the result of the 2016 vote, others suggested the former Belgian Prime Minister’s apparent distaste for referendums stemmed from the fact that “you always lose them”. Mr Verhofstadt, who is now a MEP, served as the European Parliament’s Brexit representative and has been a prominent critic ever since.

Earlier today, he tweeted a link to a Ipsos MORI poll suggesting just 45 percent of Britons agreed that the most important political issues should be decided by referendums rather than elected officials.

The figure was 15 percent below the global average of 60 percent.

Mr Verhofstadt commented: “Referenda most unpopular where they have actually been tried… with devastating effect. No surprise.

“Still, we need to find ways to update our democratic legitimacy & interaction between representative and participatory institutions, also in the EU!”

His post attracted plenty of responses – and a great deal of criticism and in some cases, scorn.

Jonathan Bowden said: “So, we need to find better ways of interaction etc, as long as I get my way, very dangerous man you are.

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“The only reason you bad mouth referendums is because you always lose them, fact.”

Another post, from the PoliticsSense Twitter account, said: “Easy to see why Guy prefers a poll to an actual vote.

“Of course, the polls are never, ever wrong…unless you have an actual vote!

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“23 June 2016 Ipsos poll – 52% Remain 48% Leave. 24 June 2016 Result – 52% Leave 48% Remain.”

Another Twitter used suggested British cynicism was likely to have been driven by the aftermath of the vote five years ago.

They said: “Referendums are unpopular in the UK because the politicians spent three years trying to overturn the result.

“In the Netherlands they actually did reverse a referendum vote.”

Similarly, another listed said of the low UK percentage: “Because we have learnt that treacherous politicians in the EU’s pocket only respect the result of a referendum if it goes the way they wanted.”

Mark Clifford claimed: “If you had a referendum in all member states to vote on leaving the EU there would be no EU anymore, the citizens would overwhelmingly vote to leave.”

Meanwhile plenty of sceptics questioned what they saw as Mr Verhofstadt’s ongoing fixation with the UK and inability to move on.

James Johnsson said: “#Brexit living rent free in your head.”

Another claimed: “You’re obsessed with the UK.”

And a third simply asked: “What is it with you Gollum?”

Ipsos MORI’s poll was based on an online sample of 19,017 adults aged 16-74 across 25 countries.

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