EU Commission: English Language Losing Importance in Europe Amid Brexit

F1 and Brexit

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, says the United Kingdom must agree to "crystal-clear guarantees" to protect the rights of EU citizens.

She added that the EU also must "limit the damage that Britain's withdrawal could bring for the European Union as a whole if the withdrawal and transition did not succeed".

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May said European Union officials and politicians were seeking to intervene in the June vote, hitting out at "threats" that had been issued against Britain.

"All of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election", she said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed an audience in French on Friday, claiming that the English language is losing its importance as tensions with the United Kingdom intensify.

Details of the diplomatic dinner were leaked to the German press, describing how Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May "clashed" over a number issues, with the Eurocrat quoted as saying he was "10 times more skeptical than I was before" about the prospects for negotiations. May dismissed the report as "Brussels gossip".

"I will do everything in my power to ensure that information on the negotiations is made public so that an informed debate can take place", he said.In a sign of growing friction and frustration, May accused European Union politicians and officials on Wednesday of seeking to sway the outcome of a June 8 national election in Britain by issuing threats over Brexit. Should he be allowed to return home to look for work while receiving British unemployment benefit, as he now could?

"We have too much to do on our plate. That's what I've learned hiking in the mountains".

While local issues are usually the main influence in such polls, May's decision last month to call an early general election ensured her own record and Brexit would be on voters' minds.

"That's not realistic", Michel said.

By contrast the anti-EU, anti-mass immigration UK Independence Party is predicted to lose most of its council seats as it struggles to define itself now that its principal goal - Brexit - is on its way to being achieved.

Roger Scully, a politics professor at the University of Cardiff in Wales, said the national picture would inevitably have some effect on the vote: "The Conservatives are doing very well and this is nearly certainly likely to have some spill-over into the local elections". She reminded everyone of her stance that Britain wants a deal but is ready to walk away as she believes that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Barnier told reporters that Britain's relations with its 27 European partners once it leaves will center "around a free trade agreement, but it's not the moment to talk about it immediately".

An EU flag is seen outside the the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain on March 29, 2017. "When you push that Brexit button, there are consequences, there is a bill to pay".

He said: "We have decided these programs together".

On its front page, it featured a picture of the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michael Barnier, next to the words "hard talk over bill of 100 billion euros". The draft is being made public Wednesday.

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