The former leader praised the Prime Minister’s landmark speech but blasted her chances of making headway on the EU divorce this year.

Speaking to Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, the MEP said Eurocrats had their mind preoccupied with elections in Europe and did not see Brexit as a priority.

“I have a feeling we may be in for a very frustrating 2017,” he said. “The mood, as I can see it in Brussels, is that negotiating with Britain is not a priority.

“They’re far more worried about Dutch elections, French elections, German elections, possibly even Italian elections, and I worry that by the end of this year we may not have made very much progress.”

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