Theresa May dismisses Juncker report as ‘Brussels gossip’

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 1 May 2017 in News

Theresa May branded reports claiming that Jean-Claude Juncker described her as "on another galaxy" as "Brussels gossip"

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Junker: Picture credit - European Commission audiovisuak

Theresa May has branded reports claiming that Jean-Claude Juncker described her as "on another galaxy" as "Brussels gossip".

The Prime Minister’s comments follow a report in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the European Commission president made the claim during a phone call with Angela Merkel after a meeting with May at No 10.

Juncker is reported to have remarked: “I leave Downing Street ten times as sceptical as I was before.”

Addressing activists in Lancashire this afternoon, May said: “From what I’ve seen of this account, I think it’s Brussels gossip.

“And just look at what the European Commission themselves said immediately after the dinner took place, which was that the talks had been constructive.

“But it also shows that at times these negotiations are going to be tough and in order to get that best deal for Britain we need to ensure that we’ve got that strong and stable leadership in to those negotiations and as I say every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those negotiations and when it comes to June 8th people will have a clear choice.

“There’ll be 27 European countries on one side of the table, and who do they want to see standing on the other side, me or Jeremy Corbyn?”

Earlier today, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said the report showed the need for a “new approach” to relations with the EU, and said Labour would immediately set a “different and more positive tone” if it wins the general election.

“Whatever the purpose of these leaks, this is a deeply worrying account and further evidence that Theresa May’s rigid and complacent approach to Brexit negotiations risks leading Britain over a cliff edge,” he said.  

“It is clearer by the day that an extreme Tory Brexit poses a severe risk to the British economy and to people’s jobs and living standards.

He added: “In pursuing a rigid and complacent approach, the Prime Minister now finds herself marginalised and isolated across the continent. Since day one, she has been driven not by the national interest, but by the interests of the Tory party.”

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