12:06 GMT +314 August 2018
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    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini gestures during a news conference with Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeg in Rome, Italy July 5, 2018

    Salvini Encourages May to Walk Away From EU Deal

    © REUTERS / Tony Gentile
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    Right-wing parties in Italy see an opportunity for an alliance with post-Brexit Britain as cross-Channel ties continue to fray.

    Italy's deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has said that the European Union is attempting to "swindle" the United Kingdom in its Brexit negotiations and has called upon Prime Minister Theresa May to take a much tougher line with Brussels and be prepared to walk away from the negotiating table.

    Mr. Salvini, leader of the anti-immigration party "Northern League" in Italy, has become more outspoken and combative in his stance towards the European Union since the country's March elections, in which right-wing parties did particularly well.

    Since becoming deputy prime minister, Mr. Salvini and his political colleagues have sought closer ties with London, in the belief that post-Brexit Britain will be an ally in their own struggles against Brussels.

    The prospect of a "no deal" scenario occurring between the UK and EU has dramatically increased the internal political stakes in the UK, with Theresa May's leadership coming under increasing pressure from within her own party. Talk has erupted within business and political circles of possible chaos at British ports and potential food shortages in the event that Britain crashes out of the bloc without securing an arrangement with Brussels.

    The newly minted Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has fired back at warnings from Brussels with the threat that Britain may refuse to pay the so-called "divorce bill" if the negotiations fail to produce an agreement between the two sides by March 2019.

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    Tags:
    anti-immigrant, Hard Brexit, swindlers, 2018 Italian elections, Brexit, Lega Nord Party, British Conservative Party, European Union, Matteo Salvini, Dominic Raab, Theresa May, Italy, Europe, United Kingdom
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