Mr Tajani said: “Personally I’m against the strong, cold Brexit, Brexit is Brexit. We need to work for the separation.
“And then, I totally agree with May, after the separation we need to work for a new union, or cooperation, between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
“I’m against hard, strong, cold, flexible… Brexit is Brexit.”
RT • GETTY
Antonio Tajani hinted the UK would get a good deal with the EU after Brexit
The statement comes as a U-turn after Mr Tajani claimed Brexit can be overturned and Britain would be welcomed to the fold if Britons changed their mind on leaving.
Suggesting a change in UK Government following the snap General Election on June 8 could open the door for the UK staying in the bloc, he suggested the country would be welcomed back with open arms.
He told the Guardian: “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.”
I totally agree with May, after the separation we need to work for a new union
The EU chief threatened to veto any Brexit deal if it did not guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.
He added: “The final decision is for the 27 member states, but everybody will be in favour if the UK decides to reverse Article 50.”
Speaking after having spent 45 minutes in Downing Street talks with Mrs May yesterday, Mr Tajani said he and the PM had agreed on the need for a resolution to the issue of UK and EU ex-pats' rights.
He said: "The message is a positive message. We want to strengthen the citizens' rights – European citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the European Union.
Politicians react to Theresa May's snap general election
Wed, April 19, 2017
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her intention to hold an early general election on June 8
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Theresa May has called for a snap general election
"This is the most important message – we want to work together.
"Mrs May underlined this position. It is our position. Here we were both in favour of our citizens.
"It is a good start, a good beginning; now we need to go for implementation."
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The PM and the president agreed the UK and EU should continue to have a close relationship after Brexit and on the importance of giving early certainty about the status of British citizens living elsewhere in the EU and citizens of other member states in the UK."