1. ITV Report

EU Parliament chief says 'UK would be welcomed back if country abandons Brexit'

Antonio Tajani says Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The president of the European Parliament has indicated that Britain would be welcomed back into the EU fold if the government were to abandon its Brexit bid after the upcoming General Election.

According to Antonio Tajani "if the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour" and he himself would be "very happy" to see the process of Britain separating itself from the EU halted.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Tajani said: "If the UK, after the election, wants to withdraw (Article 50), then the procedure is very clear."

"If the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour. I would be very happy", he added.

Indicating a political solution could be reached if the outcome of Theresa May's snap election were to lead to calls for a halt to Brexit proceedings he told the paper: "If tomorrow, the new UK government decides to change its position, it is possible to do.

"The final decision is for the 27 member states, but everybody will be in favour."

Antonio Tajani and Theresa May met at Downing Street to discuss Brexit earlier on Thursday Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Tajani's comments came after he visited Downing Street on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May where a "positive" meeting saw the pair agree the rights of EU citizens after Brexit would be their "first priority".