English is losing importance in Europe — EU's Juncker

"Unity" was the buzzword at last weekend's summit of European leaders.

But the proximity of the general election and the increasingly hostile atmosphere between London and Brussels over the Brexit negotiations overshadowed Thursday s polls.

Merkel said during a speech in Hamburg that it's important that the remaining European Union 27 members remain as united in the negotiations as they have been since the Brexit referendum in June.

"And they should admire Europe because Europe has been able to overcome decades, centuries of bloodshed and the Europeans were able to come up with a peace, a common peace".

He said the EU 27 would insist on maintaining existing rights for its citizens and their families, including relatives who do not hail from EU states or live in an EU country.

Discretion, moderation & mutual respect needed.

#Brexit talks hard enough. "If we start arguing before they even begin they will become impossible", he told a news conference.

Mrs May's attack on the "bureaucrats of Brussels" was delivered from Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon after her meeting with the Queen.

While local issues are usually the main influence in such polls, May's decision last month to call an early general election ensured her own record and Brexit would be on voters' minds.

Juncker even joked he was ready to encourage independence movements by USA states if Trump failed to tone down his Brexit support.

Mr Juncker, the president of the European Commission, is a man known for his flippancy, sarcasm and blunt humour.

The leak was blamed on Mr Juncker or his formidable German chief of staff, Martin Selmayr.

Juncker's "another galaxy" comment was made in a telephone call with Mrs Merkel after he clashed with Mrs May over dinner in Downing Street 11 days ago.

Juncker speaks a number of European languages fluently but regularly speaks English at global gatherings.

His reason? "Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe".

The German Chancellor's relations with the EU Commission president are said to have "soured" after Mr Juncker described Mrs May as living in "another galaxy" following a recent dinner.

Barnier made it clear the Council "will not discuss our future relationship with the United Kingdom until 27 member states are reassured that all citizens will be treated properly and humanely".

Rob Ford, professor of political science at Manchester University, said that while her public spat with Juncker will have helped, the Conservative victory was the result of a long-term hard Brexit strategy that May has been pursuing for almost a year.

But he then went on to humanise Brexit in a way that many have not.

The 27 other European Union nations have shown a united front in facing Brexit, and Michel epitomized the view that the negotiations should be done on the EU's terms, not Britain's. None yet have any guarantees on their future. "But I've made my choice", he said to rapturous applause.

"For instance, what if a skilled Polish worker for BMW who works at Plant Oxford, loses his job?" Should he be allowed to return home to look for work while receiving British unemployment benefit, as he now could?

He said: "She has stolen Ukip's pyjamas on Brexit and immigration by pursuing this assertive nationalist rhetoric".

"Britain will in future be less closely connected than until now, including in the economic domain", she said, adding that it would be important nonetheless to have good ties with Britain on economic, security and defense policy.

Video: Will a shared love of walking clear the Brexit path?

He ended it with a personal reflection that would seem closer to Mr Tusk's calm, polite tone than to that of his boss, Mr Juncker.

Juncker meanwhile took a swipe at Britain, saying he preferred to give a speech in French because English was becoming less significant. But I did it.

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