April 18, 2017 / 1:39 PM / in 6 months

Britons can show EU preferences in election: EU's Verhofstadt

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British voters can use a snap election called on Tuesday to show what kind of relationship they want with the European Union, the European Parliament’s point-man on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, said in a statement.

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), addresses the European Parliament during a debate on Brexit priorities and the upcomming talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU, in Strasbourg, France, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

“There will be an opportunity for the UK citizens to express themselves on how they see the future relationship between the their country and the EU,” the liberal former Belgian prime minister said on his Facebook page.

“As the EP Brexit negotiator, I will work with a new government for the best common future possible.”

Verhofstadt, a strong proponent of a more federally centralized European Union, leads the liberal bloc in the EU legislature to which Britain’s Liberal Democrats belong. They plan to campaign to prevent the ruling Conservatives negotiating a “hard Brexit” in which Britain cuts many ties with the Union.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr

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