Kirkhope: Conservative MEPS will challenge Brexit "negotiatior" announcement

An attempt to declare Belgian federalist Guy Verhofstadt as the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator should be challenged and put to all 751 MEPs.

Conservative MEP Lord Kirkhope spoke out after the parliament's President Martin Schulz today tried to appoint the leader of the fourth largest group in the parliament as the institution's sole negotiator on Britain's EU departure.

Mr Verhofstadt, the former Liberal Prime Minister of Belgium, is well known for demanding that the EU should be turned into a fully-fledged federal United States of Europe.

Lord Kirkhope said: "Regardless of an apparent majority of the Group leaders, it has not be put to the vote of the whole parliament. Until this decision is put to a vote it cannot be accepted, as the parliament is, is it not, a democratic institution? Backroom deals that may affect our future relationship with the EU will not wash. 

"Conservative MEPs will challenge this. We will demand a full, democratic and transparent selection procedure."