April 18, 2017 / 1:16 PM / 2 years ago

EU hopes vote gives strong mandate to negotiate Brexit: official

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union negotiators hope Theresa May’s snap election can produce a strong prime minister with a clear popular mandate to hammer out the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc, an EU official said on Tuesday.

“This is a domestic matter for the UK,” the official said. “But we have some hope that this will lead to a strong leader in London that can negotiate with us with strong backing by the electorate.”

May, who campaigned against Brexit in a referendum last year which gave 52-percent backing for withdrawal, said she called the June 8 vote to strengthen her position in talks, which the EU has expected to launch in early June.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald

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