September 28, 2017 / 6:19 PM / a year ago

EU's Verhofstadt pokes fun at British PM May over Brexit

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The lead Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament poked fun at British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, quipping that she gave her Brexit speech in Florence because she was familiar with the city’s 15th century politics of betrayal.

In a speech to students at the London School of Economics, Guy Verhofstadt said Brexit was negative and a waste of time and energy, though he also said Britain’s decision to leave the bloc was a failure for the European Union.

“I think she chose Florence because Florentine politics in the 15th century made her feel at home,” Verhofstadt said. “Backstabbing, betrayal, noble families fighting for power... It is an environment that she recognized fairly well.”

He said the one positive outcome of Brexit was that the mood in the EU had reversed since Britain’s vote to leave in June 2016 and that now many EU citizens did not want to destroy the Union. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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