Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee to become the next European Commission chief, has told MEPs she hopes the UK abandons its plans for Brexit. "I still hope you remain," she said, warning the British authorities to "sort its side of things on Brexit".
Mrs von der Leyen was speaking at a European Parliament hearing ahead of a vote on her nomination next week. She vowed to make the EU more ambitious on climate change and pressed for more gender balance within the bloc.
Mrs von der Leyen, who is currently the German defence minister, is due to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November if approved by parliament. If this happens, she will become the first woman to take the EU's top post.
As part of her pitch on Tuesday, Mrs von der Leyen tackled the thorny issue, calling on British lawmakers to take responsibility for sorting out the UK's departure. She said a divorce deal negotiated by outgoing UK PM Theresa May with EU leaders was "a good one", in her first public comments on Brexit since being nominated.