Sunday

20th Aug 2017

May accuses EU-27 of 'lining up against Britain'

  • May met with EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker this week to talk Brexit (Photo: Prime minister's office)

UK prime minister Theresa May accused the EU-27 countries of "lining up against Britain" in response to German chancellor Angela Merkel's warning that the UK should have no "illusions" over Brexit negotiations.

May campaigned in Leeds, a Labour Party stronghold in northern England, on Thursday (27 April), in an attempt to sweep up votes to strengthen her ahead of the Brexit talks.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

She told a crowd at a rally that Merkel's comments reflected "how tough those negotiations are going to be at times".

"Our opponents are already seeking to disrupt those negotiations, at the same time as 27 other European countries line up to oppose us," May said.

"That approach can only mean one thing – uncertainty and instability, bringing grave risk to our growing economy with higher taxes, fewer jobs, more waste and more debt," she argued.

"So we need the strongest possible mandate and the strongest possible leadership to go into those talks," May added.

The EU leaders meet in Brussels on Saturday (29 April) to agree on the "red lines" of the Brexit negotiations, which will start after the snap UK general election that will be held on 8 June.

The EU's "negotiating guidelines" were finalised by EU affairs ministers on Thursday in Luxembourg.

The document details the three priorities agreed by EU leaders: guaranteeing rights for EU citizens in the UK and for Britons in the EU, the UK's financial liabilities "bill", and the necessity to avoid a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The final position also excludes financial services from a future trade deal with the UK, something that May aimed to have included in the talks, as outlined in her Article 50 letter that triggered the exit process.

May ventured into Labour's heartlands, laying bare her ambition to serve a historic blow to Labour in the general election in June.

"This election is not about who you may have voted for in the past. It is about voting in the national interest. Voting for the future," she told the crowd.

Meanwhile, a new survey by YouGov for The Times newspaper showed for the first time since the referendum last June that more people believe the Brexit vote was a mistake.

The survey found that 45 percent of respondents agreed that the UK was wrong to vote for Brexit, whereas 43 said withdrawing from the bloc was right and 12 percent said they didn’t know.

May surprises EU with snap election

The UK prime minister has blamed the parliament for divisions in the country and called for a vote on 8 June, which she hopes will result in a pro-Brexit majority. The EU says the vote will not change its plans.

Column / Brexit Briefing

May’s election juggernaut

The prime minister's Tories almost need not bother campaigning for the June election. There is no opposition worthy of the name.

EU agency relocation race starts with 23 cities

Cities from 21 countries have applied to host the two London-based EU agencies, which will have to be relocated after Brexit, with Luxembourg throwing its hat in for the banking authority.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides