British Prime Minister Theresa May says the country is ready to “walk out” of divorce talks with the European Union without clinching a bad deal, angering her opponent in the next week election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“We will be there to negotiate the right deal but what I have said is that no deal is better than a bad deal. We have to be prepared to walk out,” she said during an interview with the Sky News on Monday.
The British premier is also set to call the EU’s stance in the talks “aggressive” on Tuesday, according to a pre-released copy of her speech.
“They are adopting an aggressive negotiating position, which can only be met by strong leadership on behalf of Britain,” May will say. “If we don’t make a success of the next five years, our economic prosperity will suffer, jobs and livelihoods will be put at risk, and with them the security and peace of mind of working families.”
Corbyn, meanwhile, said he would make sure of a deal if he was in power.
“There’s going to be a deal,” he said in a Sky News interview. “We will make sure there is a deal.”
The comments by both sides overshadow two years of tough negotiations between London and Brussels before the British exit.
May’s lead has been cut in recent polls from 18 percentage points two weeks ago to 9 points last week and 6 points in the latest poll as the June 8 election date approaches.
The opposition Labour Party, which has been an opponent of Brexit, backs the outcome of a June 2016 referendum, in which people opted for quitting the EU, however; it pushes for efforts to avoid “hard Brexit.”