Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

May says European Union seeking to affect result of British election

May says European Union seeking to affect result of British election

She fired off her broadside after a leaked account of a "disastrous" dinner with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker appeared in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which Juncker reportedly said May was in a "different galaxy".

Addressing the State of the Union conference in Florence, Juncker added that he also wanted the French people to understand his message about Europe ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator warned Friday that the bloc won't discuss a future relationship with Britain until all 27 member states are reassured that EU citizens living in the United Kingdom will be treated "properly and humanely". It is not a small thing but we must and will negotiate in all "fairness" with our British friends.

Juncker's speech came at the end of a week which has seen Prime Minister Theresa May accuse Brussels of meddling in the British election campaign and another government minister describe the Commission as trying to "bully" London.

May accused some European Union officials on Wednesday of trying to interfere with the upcoming parliamentary election. The European Commission's negotiating stance has hardened.

Afterwards, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of "playing party games with Brexit" and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was "irresponsible" to "poison" the atmosphere with the EU.

He said protecting these rights was "a moral duty"."Nevertheless we can be certain that Brexit will inevitably entail a number of negative consequences".

"These negotiations are hard enough as they are".

She said: "If we can't find any agreement, we are falling out as badly as this when negotiations haven't even begun, I think think people ought to be profoundly anxious".

"Our British friends chose to leave the European Union, which is a tragedy", he said.

The European Commission president opted to deliver a speech in Florence in French. "I don't want anyone to underestimate the real importance of this sovereign decision of the British people".

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said earlier on Friday that lawmakers, who have a veto over the final agreement, wouldn't back a deal if there are no guarantees for EU citizens living or having lived in the United Kingdom.

Britons today voted in local and mayoral polls whose outcome could weigh on the crucial general election in June, as Prime Minister Theresa May looks for a show of strength to boost her Brexit position.

"The Conservatives are doing very well and that is nearly certainly likely to have some spillover into the local elections", he said. The daily FAZ reported that Junker had told May that Brexit could not be a success.

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