Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chosen representative in the Brexit negotiations, has responded to Prime Minister Theresa May’s concession-filled Florence speech by mocking her for “backstabbing and betrayal”.
The former Belgian prime minister suggested May chose Florence to make her Brexit speech “because Florentine politics in the 15th century made her feel at home”, the Reuters news agency reports.
“Backstabbing, betrayal, noble families fighting for power… It is an environment that she recognised fairly well,” he sneered.
The MEP told his London School of Economics (LSE) audience that — unlike many — he did expect the UK and the EU to eventually reach a deal, and also pushed for the greater integration between the remaining EU member-states, with a common government for the Eurozone “with a fiscal capacity”.
This follows similar remarks following European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘State of the European Union’ address, in which he followed the Eurocrat-in-chief’s calls for an EU super-president and Defence Union with his own proposals for a European FBI and “a real government for the Eurozone”.
Verhofstadt: Young Generation Will See Brexit as ‘Stupidity’ and Take Britain Back into EU https://t.co/oxdYTATlNr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 5, 2017
Whilst Verhofstadt mocks the prime minister for the “backstabbing and betrayal” within her own Cabinet and party, others have characterised the Florence speech itself as a betrayal of her country’s 17.4 million Brexit voters.
Speaking to Breitbart London, Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage said that “May’s vision for Brexit Britain is that we leave in name only and that all current arrangements, the status quo, is simply to be rebadged.
“In trade, security, science, she proposes no change whatsoever. And finally, most tellingly she said ‘we do not seek an unfair competitive advantage’. That statement is a sell out of our national interest, and a betrayal of Brexit.”
— UKIP (@UKIP) September 14, 2016
The prime minister has also drawn heavy fire from veteran Eurosceptics on the political left, including the notorious union leader Arthur Scargill, who tussled with the late Baroness Thatcher during the miners’ strike of 1984-85.
“Theresa May’s announcement that the Government is prepared to stay in the EU until 2021 is a betrayal on a par with Chamberlain’s sell-out to Hitler and a betrayal of the will of the people,” wrote the 79-year-old, in a letter to The Telegraph.
“Britain is stuck for at least four years with free movement, the customs union, the single market and control by an unelected body in Brussels.
“The British people voted to leave the EU, not to continue paying £10 billion a year, with a trade deficit of £60 billion a year. Mrs May should resign for her act of treachery. The British people will never forgive her.”