Hangover after Brexit dinner

Revelations from a confidential conversation between British Prime Minister May and EU Commission President Juncker last week continue to make waves. It appears that even before the EU summit on the weekend it was clear how divided the two sides were regarding the Brexit negotiations. For commentators the EU has played into the hands of Brexiteers by deliberately letting the dispute escalate.

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

EU leaders just let disaster happen

The "disastrous dinner" could have unpleasant consequences, taz fears, blaming Merkel and the other heads of other EU states:

“They knew perfectly well that their guidelines and May's plans are worlds apart. Juncker had informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel of his meeting and warned of a potential clash. Yet Merkel and the other leaders did nothing to defuse the situation. They didn't approach May in a conciliatory manner but tried to corner her instead. Rather than presenting a Plan B for the event that the negotiations fail, they remained silent. Clearly they are more concerned about making a convincing show of unity. But that, too, is an illusion. At the latest when the talks get down to the nitty-gritty - to money and the coveted EU institutions - they may suffer a rude awakening.”

The Times (GB) /

Hypocritical and ill-mannered EU

The EU and its Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have discredited themselves in recent days, writes the Times:

“After dinner in Downing Street last week, the Brussels kingpin from Luxembourg opted for the thoughtful touch of having the German press briefed that Mrs May is the delusional occupant of another galaxy. ... This hardens hearts. There is Mrs May being mannerly, laying on dinner and seeking an accommodation, but determined not to be a pushover when provoked. The Commission responds with insults and pleas for 100 billion euros. ... This duplicity comes from the people who invented the euro and the wide-open borders of Schengen, who inflicted misery on tens of millions of southern Europeans post-euro, and who helped create the conditions in which 40 per cent of the French will vote for a notorious fascist this weekend. And they dare call the British delusional.”

Delo (SI) /

Revelations strengthen Eurosceptics

The Brexit dinner debate sends a clear signal that May will be unrelenting in the negotiations, Delo concludes:

“The episode with Jean-Claude Juncker has boosted May's motivation in recent days. An episode which is being described in Westminster circles as a mistake on the part of the EU which the British people won't be so quick to forget. They won't forget it for one thing because the prime minister and her team will remind them of it at every opportunity. The EU Commission's attempt to dampen high expectations by revealing details of a confidential conversation could turn out to be a boon for the British Eurosceptics and all those who believe that exiting the EU without a deal is the best course. It could also reaffirm the British stance and serve to unite the public on key and as yet unresolved issues.”