Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Jeremy Corbyn attacks Theresa May’s ‘megaphone’ approach to Brexit talks

His comments came amid reports European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker said Mrs May was from a “different galaxy” after they met last week.

Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating strategy, warning her “megaphone” diplomacy would not get a good deal from Britain.

The Labour leader said threatening to walk away from the talks without an agreement was not a sensible way of dealing with countries responsible for half of the UK’s overseas trade.

His comments came amid weekend reports that European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker said Mrs May was from a “different galaxy” after they met last week for dinner in Downing Street.

Campaigning in Battersea, south London, Mr Corbyn said a Labour government would approach the negotiations with “respect and sense”.

“She (Mrs May) seems to be sending rather mixed messages.

“To start negotiations by threatening to walk away with no deal and set up a low tax economy on the shores of Europe is not a very sensible way of approaching people with whom half of our trade is done at the present time.

“Of course they are going to be difficult (negotiations), but you start from the basis that you want to reach an agreement, you start from the basis that you have quite a lot of shared interests and values.

“If you start from that basis and show respect, you are more likely to get a good deal. But if you start with a megaphone, calling people silly names, it is not a great start to anything.”

Reports from Brussels suggested that Mr Juncker warned a summit of leaders from the remaining EU 27 on Saturday that the Brexit negotiations could collapse because of the differences of the two sides on key issues.

They followed Wednesday’s meeting at No 10 – which was also attended by the EU’ s chief negotiator Michel Barnier – which was said to have gone “very badly”.

Afterwards, Mr Juncker was said to have telephoned German chancellor Angela Merkel to warn her that Mrs May’s approach to the negotiations was from a “different galaxy” to the other member states.

His comments prompted Mrs Merkel to issue her own warning of “illusions” held within the UK that achieving a deal would be straightforward.

Mrs May sought to play down the reports, saying they simply showed that the forthcoming negotiations would be “tough” at times.

However they were seized upon by opposition parties who said the Government was heading for a “hard Brexit” which would leave people worse off.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph