Sunday, 30 April 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she is not “on another planet” with regards to the Brexit negotiations with the EU on Sunday. She was responding to criticism she received from European officials, which has been reported in the press. She has been accused of being too demanding.
The story was even on the front page of the Sunday Times on Sunday: the paper’s headline was “Brussels says May is on another planet”. The article spoke of Wednesday’s London-based meeting between Theresa May, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and head negotiator Michel Barnier.
The British executive chief said she wanted to discuss an EU-UK trade agreement before tackling the sensitive issue of the divorce bill, which the Europeans have refused to do. “It went very badly”, Mr Juncker said when giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel a summary of the meeting during a phone call. He was quoted in the Sunday Times by one of his assistants. “She’s on another planet. Based on what happened during the meeting, there is a bigger chance of us not reaching an agreement then reaching one”, the President of the Commission added.
“I’m not on another planet”, Mrs May said while appearing on the BBC’s Sunday Political program The Andrew Marr show. “But I think these comments, and others we have heard from European officials, just go to show there will be moments when the negotiations will be difficult”, she said. She again said it would be better to have “no agreement then a bad agreement”. “I am committed to making sure we agree on a trade agreement and the conditions of our departure”, she insisted. “That’s why we need a stronger, more stable leadership to manage these negotiations”, Theresa May continued. She has called legislative elections on the 8th June to strengthen her position during the negotiations.
During a Brussels summit on Saturday, the 27 EU officials “unanimously” adopted the directing principles that will guide the European negotiators, a show of unity when dealing with the UK.