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The Latest: EU Official Draws Laughs with Brexit Humor

The Latest: EU Official Draws Laughs with Brexit Humor

Friday, 05 May 2017 07:38 AM

ROME (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

1 p.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has drawn laughs at a conference by announcing that he'd speak in French because "slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe."

Juncker was speaking at the European University Institute in Florence's annual "state of the union" conference, which comes amid Brexit negotiations and the upcoming French presidential runoff.

Juncker opened his remarks by saying that he had decided to speak in French.

His reason? "Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe." Drawing applause and laughs he continued: "And then the French will have elections next Sunday and I would like them to understand what I'm saying about Europe and nations."

Juncker and other EU officials have been engaged in a war of words with British leaders this week before Brexit negotiations.

11 a.m.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says British expectations in its divorce proceedings from the European Union are "not realistic" and sent a clear warning that Britain won't escape having to foot a hefty bill for its momentous decision that has shaken the bloc to its core.

Michel said in an interview with The Associated Press Friday that "those who think in Britain they can push the Brexit button and not have a bill to pay are seriously mistaken."

Over a few testy days this week, both sides sparred about the negotiations which are to start after the June 8 U.K. election, with some questioning what, if anything, Britain should pay for. Estimates have ranged from 20 billion euros to the latest Financial Times mark of 100 billion euros.

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The Latest on Brexit (all times local):1 p.m.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has drawn laughs at a conference by announcing that he'd speak in French because "slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe."Juncker was speaking at the European...
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Friday, 05 May 2017 07:38 AM
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