Things are getting pretty weird in Brexit world now. Talks resumed today, and we appear to be in the same old stalemate - but the latest news is that Brussels won’t deny reports that Brexit negotiators on the continent fear their talks are being bugged by British spies.
ITV reports that the deputy chief Brexit negotiator for the EU, Sabine Weyand, told officials at a European Council party on exit talks that they couldn’t exclude the possibility that UK intelligence services had been penetrating their meetings. It’s believed that British negotiators somehow found a copy of a presentation that outlined negative economic assessments of the UK staying in a single market for goods. Mere hours after the presentation was given, the UK began lobbying at the “highest level” to stop the slideshow files from being published, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The content of the slides – an analysis of the Chequers White Paper’s proposals on trade – were due to be published the day after the presentation was given. It appears the files weren’t published so that the British government could maintain its credibility, help avoid a No Deal scenario, and cause chaos. But it’s not just a British scandal – a senior EU official told The Express that member states, and members of Barnier’s team, were told to welcome the Chequers White Paper “with open arms,” and to avoid killing it off completely.
So perhaps there has been more cooperation behind the scenes than we’ve been led to believe. The EU’s weakness is showing. They know that May’s government is weak, and should it collapse over the disastrous Chequers proposals, it increases the likelihood of a No Deal scenario.
Are you following? I hope you are. It’s all very smoke and mirrors – exactly the kind of thing that gives politicians a bad name. However, knowing what we do now, it’s evident that the EU is willing to negotiate. It’s quite obvious that they don’t want a No Deal Brexit, and it’s time that May started taking advantage of that.