British Prime Minister Theresa May made her most stinging remark so far against European Union (EU) "bureaucrats" in Brussels, accusing them of trying to ruin Brexit talks.
May was speaking outside 10 Downing Street after meeting with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday on the day British Parliament was dissolved ahead of the June 8 snap general election.
In her briefing, May said the events of the last few days had shown that whatever Britain's wishes, there were some people in Brussels who did not want Brexit talks to succeed and did not want Britain to prosper, Xinhua news agency reported.
"The European Commission's negotiating stance has hardened. Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials," May said.
The British Prime Minister said these acts had been deliberately timed to affect the result of the upcoming general election.
May said: "Whoever wins on June 8 will face one overriding task, to get the best possible deal for this United Kingdom from Brexit. And in the last few days, we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be."
"By contrast, I made clear in my letter to the President of the European Council invoking Article 50 last month that, in leaving the EU, Britain means no harm to our friends and allies on the continent," she said.
May and the Conservative Party remain well ahead in the opinion polls, pointing to a victory for May with an increased majority on June 8 if the pollsters are right.