POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

MEP cites Bettel to blast May’s handling of Brexit



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The Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts is seen speaking at a press briefing at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, 26 March 2019. Image: European Parliament 

The fact that Luxembourg’s “Mr Nice Guy” prime minister has grown frustrated with Theresa May shows that the British PM is “totally devoid of the basic human skills that you need to be a political leader”, a Belgian MEP has said.

Philippe Lamberts is co-head of the parliament’s Greens/European Free Alliance bloc and a member of its Brexit steering committee.

He was speaking at a press briefing in Strasbourg on 26 March, which took place after British MPs voted to take control of the Brexit process away from May’s government. Several MPs from May’s Conservative party, including cabinet members, supported the move.

Last week, the European Council also wrestled the Brexit negotiating timeline away from May.

Lamberts stated at the press briefing:

“It’s for the British government to make up its mind as to what the alternative strategy is, knowing full well that the strategy of running down the clock and scaring people into voting [for] the [withdrawal] agreement has failed. So I hope in the first stage the [UK] parliament will be able to find a positive majority for an option. Well, is it Norway Plus, is it a second referendum? I don’t know. And after that, [I hope the British] government will do what it can to make that option happen.

 

“Because of course Theresa May might be tempted to play a scorched earth policy, and say ‘well, whatever the parliament does, if it [votes] for a positive majority for something I don’t like, I will not do it’. And that’s a danger there, because if there is one lesson that we have learned from Theresa May’s attitude is her inability to factor in what others think. Her inability to forge bonds of trust within her cabinet, we’ve seen that last night again… between her cabinet at the House of Commons, obviously, but also within the European Council.

 

“When you listen to Xavier Bettel, Mr Nice Guy by definition. Xavier Bettel is someone who always tries, and I like the guy, to look at the good side of things. When you listened to Xavier Bettel when he exited the council, you feel that if even Xavier Bettel is upset about Theresa May, she must be totally devoid of the basic human skills that you need to be a political leader. And that is scary. That is scary.”

Philippe Lamberts comments on Theresa May and Xavier Bettel:

Video: Metro.co.uk

Complete press briefing at European Parliament:

Video: European Parliament

Bettel (DP) told reporters on 22 March that he still hoped Brexit would be called off.