European People’s Party candidate Manfed Weber delivers a speech at Zappio Congress Hall in Athens on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Weber is in Greece for the official launch of his campaign for the May 23-26 European Parliament elections. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
BERLIN – The German center-right candidate hoping to become the next head of the European Union's executive branch is urging Britain not to take part in the European Parliament elections in May.
Manfred Weber told Germany's Funke Media Group "it would be good if British politicians quickly ensured clarity about Brexit — and didn't take part in the European election."
Weber was quoted as saying Friday that "a country which is leaving the European Union shouldn't have a significant role in shaping the EU's future."
He reportedly added he was "bothered by the fact that the Europe-hater Nigel Farage with his Brexit Party is leading the British polls. That's absurd."
Farage's former UK Independence Party and wealthy allies were a driving force behind Britain's 2016 Brexit referendum that saw 52% back the U.K.'s departure from the EU.