On Wednesday, The head of the European Parliament mocked British plans to withdraw from the European Union, saying that they had not studied it through and faced problems for their trade, including important food imports.
The remarks by Antonio Tajani, whose institution must sign off on any divorce agreement before Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019, followed comments on Tuesday when the Italian dismissed the offer of Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, of some 20 billion euros on the departure was “peanuts” and around a third of what London owes.
“They risk having fewer possibilities than EU countries, even in trade,” stated Tajani, dropping talk in Britain of arranging more trade with former colonies in the Commonwealth as a flawed dependence on a “structure from the past.”
“Maybe they didn’t do their sums right when they decided to hold their referendum,” said Tajani who is a conservative ally of Silvio Berlusconi, a former Italian prime minister, informed Italian reporters.
“Britain won’t gain much from leaving the EU … They aren’t self-sufficient in food. There are so many problems.”
On the eve of a European Union summit where Prime Minister Theresa May will ask fellow leaders to unblock discussions on a free trade deal. The Brexit coordinator of the parliament and the former Belgian prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, hit out at David Davis, the Brexit negotiator of May, for citing British MEPs in Brussels of being unpatriotic.
Last week, May suspended two of her Conservative members of the European Parliament for voting in favour of a proposal that was made by Verhofstadt stating that Britain must make more concessions to open trade discussions.
She also criticised lawmakers of the opposition who supported the Verhofstadt motion, saying that they were not helping the process of agreeing on an implementation period.
Verhofstadt, a liberal, said that Davis had also written to Vince Cable, the British Liberal Democrat leader, urging him to “take action” against Catherine Bearder, the LibDem MEP, for voting in the same manner.
“At first I thought this letter was a hoax,” said Verhofstadt in a statement. “I will raise my concerns officially with … David Davis, when we next meet.
“It is deeply troubling that a government minister would use his office to infer that a democratically elected politician was acting in a traitorous or unpatriotic manner … This strikes me as profoundly un-British.”
A source in the Conservative Party of Davis stated in response: “It is profoundly British to hold people to account for the way the vote. These MEPs voted for to stop talks progressing to the next stage, something that is self evidently in the national interest: it’s right they face criticism.”
Talking to British lawmakers earlier in the week, Davis stated that he has confidence that Britain was “on the right path” in the negotiations and was ready to start discussing the future relationship with the European Union.
However, marking the cool welcome which Brussels may grant for May on Thursday, the EU executive, a senior member of the European Commission, also took an outspoken swipe at British tactics and the internal wrangles in the government of May over Brexit.
“The London-London negotiation is still raging and if anything, intensifying,” Phil Hogan, the Irish commissioner who oversees EU farm policy, said late on Tuesday at the launch of a book on how Brexit is seriously affecting Ireland.
“What becomes more obvious day by day is that the Brexiteers are hooked on brinkmanship … their only approach is the tough-guy approach. No matter what Brussels says or does, no matter what business in the EU says or does … the hardliners cannot get out of their head the idea that if they bully their way towards the wire, the Union’s nerve will crack.
“They cannot get it into their head that this is not how the European Union works … We are now so close to the cliff edge of a hard Brexit that we can see the drop right in front of our feet.”