Leading EU Brexit negotiator slams House of Lords Brexit report

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GIANNI PITTELLA: "Theresa May is a bull in a china shop."

EUROPEAN politicians are up in arms over a House of Lords reports that suggests the UK could exit the EU without paying a €60 billion “divorce settlement.”
That is the potential sum which the UK would have to pay to meet existing commitments according to the European Commission (EC) and 27 EU member states.
However, an analysis by the House of Lords EU financial affairs subcommittee published on Saturday concluded that the UK would be in a strong legal position should it opt to abstain from the payment.
Gianni Pittella, who is leader of the socialists in the European parliament and likely to play a key role in Brexit negotiations, immediately accused Theresa May of incompetence and bullying.
“Theresa May is a bull in a China shop,” he said. “She likes playing the role of the hardliner, but she’s just coming across as fully inadequate to live up to this incredibly delicate historical phase.
“Against this background, it is extremely important that the UK is called upon to honour all financial obligations falling due, up to and including the date of its withdrawal.”
As far as the EC is concerned, the UK should make payments to the EU in 2019 and 2020, although they may continue until 2023.
“Without an agreement on this and other crucial issues, talks on future relationships between the EU and UK cannot start,” continued Pittella. “Madame May is fully aware of this, but she’s still fooling herself that the EU can be impressed by her bullying attitude.
“The reality will soon wake her up. Negotiations between the European Union and UK should be concluded in good faith and a spirit of mutual respect to ensure the orderly exit of the UK from the EU.”


  1. This is drivel. May is not a bull in a china shop, and the House of Lords is correct. The bull in the china shop is EU representatives suggesting that the UK ‘must’ pay over 50 billion Euros to leave the EU. There is no treaty or agreement that suggests any such payment would be due. There is nothing in Article 50 which says such a payment would be due. If the EU wants to make this difficult and be stupid, then Theresa May has the support of the majority of the electors in the UK to walk away with no agreement and invoke WTO trade rules between the UK and the EU. Do not forget that Cameron tried to reach a deal with the EU on relatively minor issues and not a single one was accepted by the EU; not one. The EU had a chance then to halt a bad Brexit vote, but was too arrogant to do a deal with it’s second biggest contributor to ease the concerns of it’s people. You reap what you sow. If the EU negotiators continue to play hard-ball with the UK, well, they have seen the British people vote, they have seen British democracy, they have seen Parliament ratify May’s position and they have now seen also the House of Lords (unelected) also give Mrs May the authorisation she needs to act in Britain’s interests. The EU negotiators go into this with pride and arrogance at their peril. If we walk away with no deal, it will be their doing, not ours.

  2. A bully is the big, strong person standing in the middle of a gang, and not the one standing alone, Madame. The Lord’s are independent by the way.


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