Italy’s deputy PM accuses EU of trying to swindle Britain over Brexit as he calls for Theresa May to adopt a tougher approach in her negotiations
Interior minister Matteo Salvini said Theresa May needed to ‘assert herself’
Salvini said Italy would be a friend to Britain during its negotiations with the EU
The minister said he would also be open to one-to-one talks with May
By GEORGE MARTIN FOR MAILONLINE
29 July 2018
Italy’s deputy prime minister has accused the EU of trying to swindle Britain out of Brexit.
Interior minister Matteo Salvini told the Sunday Times Theresa May should be adopting a tougher stance during negotiations – saying she needed to ‘assert herself’.
‘My experience in the European parliament tells me you either assert yourself or they swindle you,’ Mr Salvini said.
Mr Salvini, a former MEP, also said Mrs May should be prepared to walk away if she doesn’t get a good deal.
‘Because on some principles there is no need to be flexible and you should not go backwards,’ he added.
He also said the EU was trying to punish Britain for leaving the bloc and said there had been ‘no good faith or objectivity’ shown by negotiators in Brussels.
Mr Salvini, who has caused controversy with his anti-immigration policies since his appointment earlier this year, said Britain could rely on Italy to be a friend during crunch talks with the EU.
He also said he would be open to holding one-to-one talks with Theresa May if needed.
‘I hope the negotiations end well for the UK, to serve as an example of the people coming out on top of the EU,’ Mr Salvini said.