(Bloomberg) -- European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said “much has changed’’ since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union in 2016, and it would always be welcome if it decides to stay in the bloc.

“As far as I’m concerned, the U.K. is always more than welcome to stay,’’ Timmermans said at the European Socialists’ congress in Lisbon on Saturday. The EU has also changed a lot in the last couple of years, he said.

Timmermans is the European Socialists’ candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission.

“There’s at least one political family in Europe that wants you to stay,’’ he said.

The U.K. Parliament is due to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Dec. 11.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joao Lima in Lisbon at jlima1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net, Michael Winfrey, James Amott

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