Theresa May has accused European politicians and officials of threatening the United Kingdom in a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of the June 8th snap election.
“Whoever wins on 8 June will face one overriding task: to get the best possible deal for this United Kingdom from Brexit,” she said. “And, in the last few days, we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be.
“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 that will take place on 8 June.”
The Prime Minister may have been referring to EU negotiator Michel Barnier‘s recent comments that Brexit would not be “quick and painless“, or reports that the bloc is set to increase its demand for a settlement bill from 60 billion euros to 100 billion euros.
EU: Your bill will be €50bn!
Britain: Erm, no…
EU: Okay… €100bn!
We're not sure Brussels knows how negotiation works… pic.twitter.com/9G11TexR63
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) May 3, 2017
“By contrast,” May continued, “I made clear in my letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50 last month that, in leaving the European Union, Britain means no harm to our friends and allies on the continent.
“We continue to believe that no deal is better for Britain than a bad deal.
“But we want a deal. We want a deep and special partnership with the European Union.
“And we want the EU to succeed.
“But 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.”
It is notable that the Prime Minister referred only to “some in Brussels”.
Much media coverage of the upcoming negotiations has given the impression that the EU has established a united front, but the governments of Poland, Hungary and Flanders are on the record as opposing attempts to turn Brexit into a “punishment project” which would damage the EU, and the European Commission president has confessed that he doubts the bloc can sustain a cohesive position.
Farage BLASTS Mafia EU https://t.co/4suyeOkhWm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 5, 2017
May declared that “now more than ever we need to be led by a prime minister and a government that is strong and stable,” given the circumstances.
“Because making Brexit a success is central to our national interest. And it is central to your own security and prosperity.
“Because while there is enormous opportunity for Britain as we leave the European Union, if we do not get this right, the consequences will be serious.
“And they will be felt by ordinary, working people across the country.
“This Brexit negotiation is central to everything.”