‘It’s blackmail!’ Furious MEPs blast ‘absurd’ decision for UK to stand in EU elections

Austrian MEP Monika Vana blasted the 27 remaining EU members’ decision to extend the Brexit deadline to October 31 as “completely absurd”. She told MEPs yesterday during one of the final European Parliament sessions before the election Britain was “continuing to blackmail the EU”. It is now highly likely the UK will have to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections as a result of Prime Minister Theresa May failing to take Britain out of the EU by March 29. 

She told MEPs: “The British had three years, they are effectively blackmailing the EU.

“It is absurd for the British people to participate in the EU elections.”

Other MEPs echoed her frustration.

Othmar Karas, another Austrian MEP, said Britain needs to leave now because Brexit has prevented them from making progress on other issues.

He said: “The EU barely comes up to deal with the really important issues of the future, we talk too much about Brexit and too little about how Europe should deal with digitisation, climate change, migration and globalisation, that has to stop.”

The European Parliament elections will be held between May 23 and 26.

The Prime Minister is still hoping to avoid any MPs standing in the European Parliament election by scrambling to get her failed Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons before next month.

While MPs are on the their Easter recess, talks between the Government and the Labour Party are continuing in the hope of finding a Brexit agreement that will be acceptable to MPs.

The EU has insisted the terms of the UK’s withdrawal, rejected three times by MPs, cannot be renegotiated – but there is scope to strengthen the political declaration, a document setting out the parameters of the UK’s future relations with the EU, ahead of the new Brexit deadline.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg


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