Margrethe Vestager, the EUs competition chief, said the EU and the U.K. are like a married couple who are constantly bickering.
Appearing on former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleggs Anger Management podcast Wednesday, Vestager said of Brexit: “Im happily married. But I think if you bitch a little every day over 30 years, you end up divorced. How could people think differently, that its no good?
“We underestimate people if they think that they only vote with their wallet. There is so much more to life than the economic benefits or downsides and I think a lot of people, they are willing to pay to find themselves in another situation.”
The Dane said a lot of people in the EU “have put a lid on their sorrow” at the Brexit decision. “You have to focus on what is here right now,” she said, “but underneath that there is still this very sad state of emotions.”
Vestager, who was interviewed by Clegg the day after she hit Google with a record antitrust fine, said of her own ambitions: “I would very much like to stay on. Here I think we are on to something. And it would be great to follow it through.
“We have important appeals, and its very important to be there to face it. If we get it wrong, its my responsibility; if we get it right, hopefully that will pave the way for even more change for the better.”
The competition commissioner also spoke about the impact of tech on politics and elections, saying: “We have to reinvent how we come together, how we discuss things. It is obvious that we cannot rely on social media for political discussions.
“For me it is a very simple model. You have to, to some degree, agree on the world we live in in order to discuss what problems we have, to make a priority, and then to discuss or maybe fight for how do we solve it. What we see now is social media, fake news, has disabled the very first part of that — that we agree on the world we live in.
“That being said I still think that most people are open, to some degree undecided … want to engage with others. And this is why I definitely dont think that it is lost. We have now realized that there is a dark side to tech, to data, to modern technologies, and we can deal with that.”