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  • Photo of British Prime Minister Theresa May giving a speech.

    Photo of British Prime Minister Theresa May giving a speech. | Photo: Anticapitalistes

Published 8 May 2019

Figures within the EU may disagree with Theresa May’s characterization of her negotiating skills.

Britain’s beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May has compared her approach to Brexit with that of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, claiming that both have a similar strategy for winning in Europe.

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On Wednesday, Theresa May faced ‘Prime Ministers Questions,’ a weekly session where U.K. lawmakers question the Prime Minister’s record. It was during this session that Theresa May said, “‘I actually think that when we look at the Liverpool win over Barcelona last night, what it shows is that when everyone says it’s all over, that your European opposition have got you beat, the clock is ticking down, it’s time to concede defeat, actually we can still secure success if everyone comes together."

Since the 2016 EU referendum, Theresa May has been attempting to negotiate a Brexit deal that would protect British industry and maintain its access to European markets. After two years, a withdrawal agreement was drawn up, but she has failed to get it through the U.K. parliament, which has rejected multiple times the conclusions of Theresa May’s negotiations with the EU.

Figures within the EU have expressed discontent, however, with Theresa May’s negotiating skills before. A member of the EU’s negotiating team, Phillippe Lambert told the British press in March that Theresa May lacks “the basic human skills to be a political leader.” Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also complained once that she “has no small talk whatsoever. None." 

Negotiation experts have also criticized May. Consultant Sim Horton told CBC, “Rule No. 1 of negotiations is: 'Be very, very clear about what you want,' and she wasn't.”

May's assertion that she is like Jurgen Klopp came out of a comment by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggesting that May seek advice from the Liverpool coach on how she might win a game that looks lost.

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