THE EUROPEAN Parliament elections in May next year will put the EU leadership under severe pressure to strike a Brexit deal with Britain, according to former Vote Leave campaigner Gisela Stuart.
Former Labour MP Gisela Stuart has predicted that the Europeans will back down over their Brexit deal stalemate before Britain leaves next March.
The prominent Brexit campaigner told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that Europe was looking at today’s elections in Sweden with huge concern.
She explained that the EU will want to push through a deal with Britain in this European Parliament, since the next parliamentary session will be more eurosceptic.
Ms Stuart said that Brussels is scared that the next group of MEPs could scupper Michel Barnier’s approach and reward Britain if the negotiations are extended.
The former Vote Leave activist said: “In Sweden, they are going to the polls today. It looks as if the hard right will do very well.
“You need to see this in the wider context across Europe, it is not just Sweden.
“In Germany, there is AfD, they are now the major opposition party. Look at what is happening in Italy, in Hungary.
“Politicians don’t realise that their behaviour is at the root of this.
“This does not bode well for the European Parliament elections in May, so the pressure to come up with a deal before March is very useful for us because the next Parliament will be by far more eurosceptic than the current one.”
The polls have opened in Sweden today for the general election, which is expected to see a shock surge in the vote for a formerly fringe eurosceptic party.
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) has seen poll support of 20 percent and is tipped for a second place finish.
Neither the governing Social Democrats nor the main centre-right party is likely to win a majority.
The leadership in Brussels is keeping a close eye on the vote in Sweden, with fears over how this will impact the European Parliament elections next year.
The EU elite are understood to be terrified that a traditionally liberal state could succumb to the populist eurosceptism that has been sweeping across Europe.
French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to prepare for a battle against anti-EU forces next year by forging a coalition of progressives for next May’s elections.
Campaigning for the May 23 and 26 election is likely to get under way in full early next year.