- Title: EU conservative asks UK to "step back" from future EU negotiations
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: STRASBOURG, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FLAGS OF EU AND EU MEMBER STATES
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 17:20
- Keywords: EU UK Brexit Turkey Johnson Weber Parliament
- Location: STRASBOURG, FRANCE
- City: STRASBOURG, FRANCE
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00159J2TDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The centre-right leader of the European Parliament denounced British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday (November 22) as "arrogant" and asked the United Kingdom to "step back" from future negotiations among the 27 member states which will form the European Union after Britain leaves.
Referring to comments Johnson made in Ankara two months ago calling on the EU to let Turkey join the bloc, Weber said the conservative minister's successful referendum campaign for Britain to leave the European Union had included leaflets designed to raise fears of immigration by stating that Turkey would be joining the bloc -- an outcome that Weber's own party opposes, despite long-running talks on Turkish accession.
Noting how Johnson had, within weeks of the vote for Brexit in June, then assured Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that Britain would help Ankara's efforts to join the EU, Weber told a news conference in Strasbourg he was asking the British government not to try influence discussions over the future of the bloc.
"It's unbelievable, it's a provocation and it's arrogant what we hear from him. I cannot respect this anymore, what he is doing in this regard," he said.
Weber was talking at a news conference before the European Parliament backed an EU plan to deepen coordination of member states' defence policies and rely less on the United States, driven in part by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion he may scale back protection of NATO allies.
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