May Vows to be 'Bloody Difficult' as EU Slams UK Brexit Aims - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

May Vows to be 'Bloody Difficult' as EU Slams UK Brexit Aims

Formal Brexit negotiations won't start until after the U.K. election next month

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    May Vows to be 'Bloody Difficult' as EU Slams UK Brexit Aims
    Getty Images
    In this file photo, Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement to the nation in Downing Street on April 18, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.

    Britain and the European Union say they want an amicable divorce. But negotiations have not even started yet, and the sniping has already begun.

    Prime Minister Theresa May vowed Tuesday to be a "bloody difficult woman" in talks with the bloc, after EU officials accused the U.K. of failing to grasp the complexity of the task ahead.

    European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, a master of the pointed political tweet, posted: "Any Brexit deal requires a strong & stable understanding of the complex issues involved. The clock is ticking — it's time to get real."

    Verhofstadt chose his words carefully: "Strong and stable" is May's campaign slogan as she seeks to win a bigger parliamentary majority in Britain's June 8 election.

    Charlottesville Victim's Mother: Her Killer 'Magnified Her'

    [NATL] Heather Heyer's Mother Echoes Her Words: 'If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention'

    The mother of Heather Heyer speaks at her daughter's memorial service: "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her."

    (Published 3 hours ago)

    Formal Brexit negotiations won't start until after the U.K. election next month. But already warm words from London and Brussels about partnership and friendship have given way to a steady drip of leaks, spin and barbed comments — evidence that the two sides' expectations are poles apart.

    Last week, May met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a working dinner, greeting him with a kiss at the door of 10 Downing St.

    May's office said afterward that the meeting had been constructive. Juncker called it "excellent," though he noted: "I have the impression sometimes that our British friends ... underestimate the technical difficulties we have to face."

    A far less diplomatic account was published by Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper. Its report on the meeting, credited to anonymous Commission sources, quoted Juncker as saying he left the dinner "10 times more skeptical than I was before" that negotiations will succeed.

    Downing St. said it "does not recognize" the paper's description of the meeting, and May dismissed the report as "Brussels gossip."

    May told the BBC on Tuesday that she was well prepared to stand up to hard bargaining from Brussels.

    Death Threats Loom Over 'Yes, You're Racist' Creator

    [NATL] Death Threats Loom Over 'Yes, You're Racist' Creator

    Logan Smith, the Raleigh, North Carolina, man behind the "Yes, You're Racist" Twitter account, says he is facing death threats and harassment after gaining nationwide attention for outing participants of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Smith says the harassment comes from people unhappy with being identified. 

    (Published 4 hours ago)

    "During the Conservative Party leadership campaign I was described by one of my colleagues as a 'bloody difficult woman,'" she said. "And I said at the time, the next person to find that out will be Jean-Claude Juncker."

    Asked whether Juncker had found it out yet, May changed the subject.

    The German report drew a furious flurry of reaction from both sides of Britain's EU divide. "May's outrage at EU's dirty tricks," said the Euroskeptic tabloid Daily Express. "Brussels twists knife on Brexit," was the front-page headline on London's more pro-EU Evening Standard.

    Tiger Visits Dentist At Denmark Zoo

    [NATL] Tiger Visits Dentist At Denmark Zoo

    A male tiger named Batu had his broken tooth repaired by veterinary surgeons at the Aalborg Zoo in Denmark. The surgeons also repaired the tooth of an African Wild Dog named Tjobi.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017)

    Whether the leak is accurate or exaggerated, it's a sign the EU wants to let Britain know who is in the Brexit driving seat.

    "What makes the leak so powerful is that it confirms what a lot of people have been thinking," said Fredrik Erixon, director of Brussels-based think tank the European Centre for Political Economy.

    He said that many in Brussels believe Britain has an unrealistic expectation that it can retain much of its current access to the EU's single market once it leaves the bloc.

    President Trump's Explosive News Conference in 7 Minutes

    [NATL]President Trump's Explosive News Conference in 7 Minutes

    At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the "alt-left."

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017)

    "The type of agreement many people in London think is possible is simply not going to be possible," Erixon said.

    In a pointed show of unity, on Saturday, the 27 EU leaders adopted common negotiating principles for Brexit. They stressed that there will be no discussion of a future trade deal with Britain until major progress has been made on key issues, including the rights of EU citizens living in Britain (and Britons living elsewhere in the bloc), and the bill that Britain must pay to settle its commitments to the EU.

    Britain has long insisted that talks on the divorce agreement and the future relationship can run side by side.

    Lightning Is Killing Fewer Americans Than Ever: Analysis

    [NATL] Lightning Is Killing Fewer Americans Than Ever: Analysis

    Lightning is killing fewer Americans than ever, according to analysis from the Associated Press and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. In 2017, only 13 people have died after being struck by lightning.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017)

    There's an even more profound difference between Britain and the bloc about what a good Brexit deal will look like. May says she wants "make a success" of Brexit, and is asking British voters to back her Conservative Party at the ballot box on June 8 and strengthen Britain's hand.

    In Tuesday's Western Morning News, May wrote that Britain needs unity of purpose to "get a deal that works in Britain's national interest."

    But it is in the EU's interest for the deal to leave Britain worse off than it was before, to emphasize the strength of the EU and deter other countries from following the U.K. out the door.

    "There is always a price, a cost, a consequence from quitting the Union," French President Francois Hollande said after the EU leaders' summit.