EU rejects May’s claim that it trying to influence UK election
The European Parliament’s president has dismissed British Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that the EU is seeking to intervene in Britain’s June election.
Antonio Tajani said on Thursday that the allegation by May that the European body is trying to influence the outcome of the vote is not true. He stressed that no one is trying to sway the result of the election.
“No one is trying to influence the outcome the election campaign in the United Kingdom,” Tajani said. ”It is better to have an interlocutor who is not constantly looking for votes because they have had the election, in order to work towards a good solution.”
“If you have an election campaign, the rhetoric gets sharper and more robust. I don’t think there is any question of influencing the campaign,” he added.
Tajani’s denial came after a spokesman for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker dismissed the allegation by saying that the EU had “too much to do” to interfere in the vote.
In a stunning statement after visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace, May accused on Wednesday the EU of wanting Brexit talks to fail, as she started her campaign for next month’s snap elections.
“The European Commission’s negotiating stance has hardened. Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials,” she said.
May said there are some in Brussels who do not want Britain to prosper through Brexit talks. She also stressed that the UK wants a deep and special partnership with the EU.
She, however, noted that no deal is better than a bad deal.
The UK prime minister made the remarks outside her residence at 10 Downing Street after visiting Queen Elizabeth to mark the dissolution of the parliament and formally start proceedings for the June 8 vote.
Earlier in the day, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said a deal with Britain over its departure from the bloc would not be reached “quickly and painlessly.”
May called for snap elections last month, saying she wanted an increased mandate to negotiate Brexit with the European Union.
She triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last month to officially begin divorce talks between Britain and the EU.
The United Kingdom held a referendum last June in which Britons voted by a 52-48 percent margin to leave the EU, the first member state ever to do so.