BREXIT: THERESA MAY SAYS EU SEEKING TO AFFECT RESULT OF BRITISH ELECTION

BREXIT: THERESA MAY SAYS EU SEEKING TO AFFECT RESULT OF BRITISH ELECTION

Brexit: Theresa May says EU seeking to affect result of British election

ABC.NET.AU

British Prime Minister Theresa May has accused European politicians and officials of seeking to affect the outcome of the June 8 national election by issuing threats over Brexit.

KEY POINTS:

  • Ms May says some EU officials want to influence the upcoming election
  • She said Britain’s position in Brexit talks had been ‘misrepresented’
  • A Labour MP said the comments make a ‘chaotic Brexit’ more likely

Speaking in front of her Downing Street office after visiting Queen Elizabeth to mark the dissolution of parliament, the formal start of the election campaign, Ms May said there were some in Brussels who did not want to see Brexit talks succeed.

Over the weekend a German newspaper gave a damning account of talks last week between Ms May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, reporting that he had told Ms May during a dinner at Downing Street that Brexit could not be a success.

Ms May dismissed the German newspaper report as Brussels gossip and repeated her promise to be a “bloody difficult woman” in talks with Mr Juncker, as brinkmanship between the two sides increased ahead of the negotiations.

“In the last few days we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be,” Ms May said.

“Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press, the European Commission’s negotiating stance has hardened, threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials.

“All of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election.”

There was no immediate EU comment on her accusations.

MAY PICKING ‘A NEEDLESS FIGHT’, LABOUR MP SAYS

A senior politician from the opposition Labour Party warned Ms May was increasing the chance of not getting a deal by accusing EU politicians of meddling in the British election.

“By picking a needless fight with our European partners in this way, the Prime Minister is making a good deal with Brussels less likely, and a chaotic Brexit with no agreement at all more likely,” Chuka Umunna said in a statement.

A poll by research firm Kantar on Wednesday put the Conservatives on 48 per cent, up two percentage points on a week earlier, while support for Labour was unchanged at 24 per cent.

Ms May said reaching the best Brexit deal would be the overriding task for whoever wins the June 8 election and called on voters to give her their backing to “fight for Britain”.

She said that while Britain wanted to reach a deal with the EU, that view was not shared by everyone in Brussels.

“The events of the last few days have shown that, whatever our wishes, and however reasonable the positions of Europe’s other leaders — there are some in Brussels who do not want these talks to succeed. Who do not want Britain to prosper.”

Reuters

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