Theresa May has dismissed a series of hardline Brexit demands from Brussels as politicians on both sides of the Channel warned that the talks could turn nasty.
The Prime Minister said requests formally agreed by EU leaders were simply a negotiating position.
Mrs May insisted she was sticking to her own demands outlined in a speech earlier this year which included tariff-free trade, ending the jurisdiction of European courts and stopping free movement of migrants.
When asked about mounting fears the UK could be “bullied by Brussels” she claimed that voters re-electing her was the best way to secure a good deal.
On Saturday the EU’s 27 countries formally agreed guidelines for the Brexit talks in what amounted to the bloc’s opening hand for the discussions.
It includes Britain paying a “Brexit bill” of around £50 billion before a future trade deal is discussed. Brussels leaders also indicated no early deal on EU citizens’ rights would be agreed unless the Prime Minister accepted that the European Court of Justice [ECJ] would decide disputes.
They also mocked as “pure illusion” the idea that Britain could sow divisions among the 27 member states to secure a better agreement.
The Prime Minister was questioned by the Telegraph during a campaign stop in Scotland.
She was asked: “The Brexit deal that appears to be on offer from Brussels at the moment looks pretty bad. Will you allow yourself to be bullied by Brussels?” She responded: “First of all I would point out we don’t have a Brexit deal on the table from Brussels.
“We have their negotiating guidelines, we have our negotiating guidelines through the Article 50 letter and the Lancaster House speech I gave on this issue in January.”
The speech in question listed her Brexit priorities which included “control of immigration” by ending free movement and “control of our own laws” by ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ.
She went on: “What matters sitting around that table is a strong Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a strong mandate from the people of the United Kingdom which will strengthen our negotiating hand to ensure we get that possible deal.”
Source/More: The Telegraph