The Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and the leader of The League, a far-right party, has warned that the European may potentially attempt to “swindle” the United Kingdom out of Brexit.
Matteo Salvini, a Former Member of the European Parliament, said that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, must take a hardline stance in her Brexit talks. He stated: “My experience in the European parliament tells me you either impose yourself or they swindle you.”
He said that the United Kingdom should be ready to walk away from negotiations.
He explained: “Because on some principles there is no need to be flexible and you should not go backwards.”
During an interview with the Sunday Times, the anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic politician said that the European Union was planning to punish the United Kingdom for its attempts to withdraw from the bloc.
He stated: “There is no objectivity or good faith from the European side.”
He added: “I hope the negotiations end well for the UK to serve as an example of the people coming out on top of the EU.”
Salvini said that the Italian government would be happy to hold one-on-one discussions with PM May.
The comments of Salvini come as PM May attempts to directly sell the Chequers Brexit deal to European governments, despite the Michel Barnier’s rejection of a key element of the said plan.
Last week, Barnier said that the European Union “will not delegate the application of its customs policy and rules, VAT and excise duty collection to a non-member.”
During the weekend, PM May was in Austria to attend a meeting with Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Chancellor, and Andrej Babis, the Czech Prime Minister.
Talking at a press conference that was held in Salzburg alongside Pm May, Kurz said that it was imperative for the United Kingdom to avoid a “hard” or disorderly Brexit, however, he said otherwise that the Brexit talks were going quite well.
Kurz said that he wanted the United Kingdom and Austria to maintain a close relationship after Brexit. He said that he hoped that the relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union and Austria “remain very strong.”