EU official draws laughs with Brexit humor

European Council president Donald Tusk said: "These negotiations are hard enough as they are". The stakes are too high to let our emotions get out of hand because at stake are the daily lives and interests of millions of people on both sides of the Channel.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani rejected the prime minister's claim and a spokesman for Mr Juncker said his office was too busy to meddle in the United Kingdom election.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kicked off a speech on Friday announcing he would speak French since "slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe".

Money aside, the top priority of the talks is how to handle the rights of some 3 million citizens from the 27 nations living in Britain and up to 2 million Britons residing on the continent.

Speaking outside her office at Downing Street in London on Wednesday, May said European Union politicians had made a series of interventions into the debate on upcoming Brexit negotiations "deliberately timed" to influence the result of the vote.

But the proximity of the general election and the political upheaval caused by last year's shock Brexit referendum has created a unique context.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator is warning that the bloc will not discuss a future relationship with Britain until all 27 member states are reassured that their citizens living in the United Kingdom will be treated "properly and humanely".

"They even took the opportunity to dismiss the importance of the English language, the language of worldwide business that is spoken by millions of people around the world".

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".

Juncker, reportedly, told May during a recent dinner party that the Brexit negotiations will not start until London pays the "divorce bill".

Theresa May was awaiting the results of her first nationwide electoral test as Britain's prime minister on Thursday, as the Brexit debate grew increasingly bitter just weeks away from a crucial general election.

"These negotiations are hard enough as they are", Mr Tusk said.

"In the past, the European Union has done a little too much.too many rules, too much interference in the daily lives of our citizens", he added.

Both Barnier and Juncker attended a meeting in Downing Street with British Prime Minister Theresa May last week after which information was given to the "Frankfurt Allgemeine Sonntag" (FAS) newspaper with Juncker quoted as saying "I leave Downing Street 10 times more skeptical than before".

The UK Independence Party, the right-wing anti-EU party that has hived off support from the Tories over the past decade, saw its vote collapse, losing every council seat it had defended in the results that had declared by Friday lunchtime.

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