(Bloomberg) -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte used a Monty Python movie reference to describe U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s tenacity on Brexit despite repeated defeats.

“I have a lot of respect for Theresa May -- she reminds me occasionally of that Monty Python character where all his arms and legs are cut off and then says to his opponent: let’s call it a draw,” Rutte said in an interview on the “WNL op Zondag” television talk show on Sunday.

The premier referred to a scene from the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in which a knight -- played by John Cleese -- refuses to yield in a battle with King Arthur, even after losing all of his limbs.

Days before a crucial meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels, Rutte reiterated that if the U.K. asks the EU for delaying Brexit, he wants to know how long a postponement would take and what London seeks to achieve. On Friday, after meeting European Council President Donald Tusk for breakfast in The Hague, Rutte tweeted that the current withdrawal agreement is the only deal on the table.

“If the British ask for a delay, interesting, but that was also my irritation this week -- what do you want with that delay?” he said on Sunday. While the U.K. is “in a very bad position right now,” Rutte respects his counterpart in London. “She’s doing incredibly, she goes on and on.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Joost Akkermans in Amsterdam at jakkermans@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net, Andrew Reierson, Keith Campbell

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.