Details of May's Downing Street Brexit dinner with Juncker leaked to German newspaper v. disturbing

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Details of May's Downing Street Brexit dinner with Juncker leaked to German newspaper v. disturbing

Post by Sassy on Mon May 01, 2017 10:59 am



Today's FAZ report on May's disastrous dinner with Juncker - briefed by senior Commission sources - is absolutely damning.
1) May had said she wanted to talk not just Brexit but also world problems; but in practice it fell to Juncker to propose one to discuss.
2) May has made clear to the Commission that she fully expects to be reelected as PM.
3) It is thought [in the Commission] that May wants to frustrate the daily business of the EU27, to improve her own negotiating position.
4) May seemed pissed off at Davis for regaling her dinner guests of his ECJ case against her data retention measures - three times.
5) EU side were astonished at May's suggestion that EU/UK expats issue could be sorted at
6) Juncker objected to this timetable as way too optimistic given complexities, eg on rights to health care.
7) Juncker pulled two piles of paper from his bag: Croatia's EU entry deal, Canada's free trade deal. His point: Brexit will be v v complex.
Cool May wanted to work through the Brexit talks in monthly, 4-day blocks; all confidential until the end of the process.
9) Commission said impossible to reconcile this with need to square off member states & European Parliament, so documents must be published.
10) EU side felt May was seeing whole thing through rose-tinted-glasses. "Let us make Brexit a success" she told them.
11) Juncker countered that Britain will now be a third state, not even (like Turkey) in the customs union: "Brexit cannot be a success".
12) May seemed surprised by this and seemed to the EU side not to have been fully briefed.
13) She cited her own JHA opt-out negotiations as home sec as a model: a mutually useful agreement meaning lots on paper, little in reality.
14) May's reference to the JHA (justice and home affairs) opt-outs set off alarm signals for the EU side. This was what they had feared.
15) ie as home sec May opted out of EU measures (playing to UK audience) then opted back in, and wrongly thinks she can do same with Brexit
16) "The more I hear, the more sceptical I become" said Juncker (this was only half way through the dinner)
17) May then insisted to Juncker et al that UK owes EU no money because there is nothing to that effect in the treaties.
18) Her guests then informed her that the EU is not a golf club
19) Davis then objected that EU could not force a post-Brexit, post-ECJ UK to pay the bill. OK, said Juncker, then no trade deal.
20) ...leaving EU27 with UK's unpaid bills will involve national parliaments in process (a point that Berlin had made *repeatedly* before).


Summerised by Alan Travis, Guardian's Home Affairs Editor.
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Sassy
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