The French commissioner said that, while he understood Prime Minister Theresa May’s desire to confirm her mandate before pushing forward with Brexit talks, he worried about “the tone of the election.”
U.K. voters are set to elect a new government in a June 8 general election. May’s Tories are expected to win the poll by a wide margin.
“If the campaign is the occasion to have new promises, more promises that cannot be fulfilled, then that doesn’t help,” Moscovici said in an interview on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting. “The question for me is not to know who is stronger…. (but) to know how we can cooperate and interact to get to an orderly, clean proper and friendly Brexit.”
Moscovici’s comments underscore Brussels’ wariness over the U.K.’s negotiating strategy for the upcoming Brexit talks. While the Commission continues to hope for an amicable separation, officials worry the charged political environment in the U.K. could ultimately force London to pursue a “hard” Brexit, one that would catapult the country out the union without a new agreement.