1. Exquisite Tweets from @JeremyCliffe

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Today's FAZ report on May's disastrous dinner with Juncker - briefed by senior Commission sources - is absolutely damning.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    2) May has made clear to the Commission that she fully expects to be reelected as PM.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    3) It is thought [in the Commission] that May wants to frustrate the daily business of the EU27, to improve her own negotiating position.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    4) May seemed pissed off at Davis for regaling her dinner guests of his ECJ case against her data retention measures - three times.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    5) EU side were astonished at May's suggestion that EU/UK expats issue could be sorted at EU Council meeting at the end of June.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    6) Juncker objected to this timetable as way too optimistic given complexities, eg on rights to health care.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    8) May wanted to work through the Brexit talks in monthly, 4-day blocks; all confidential until the end of the process.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    9) Commission said impossible to reconcile this with need to square off member states & European Parliament, so documents must be published.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    10) EU side felt May was seeing whole thing through rose-tinted-glasses. "Let us make Brexit a success" she told them.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    11) Juncker countered that Britain will now be a third state, not even (like Turkey) in the customs union: "Brexit cannot be a success".

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    12) May seemed surprised by this and seemed to the EU side not to have been fully briefed.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    16) "The more I hear, the more sceptical I become" said Juncker (this was only half way through the dinner)

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    17) May then insisted to Juncker et al that UK owes EU no money because there is nothing to that effect in the treaties.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    18) Her guests then informed her that the EU is not a golf club

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    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.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    20) ...leaving EU27 with UK's unpaid bills will involve national parliaments in process (a point that Berlin had made *repeatedly* before).

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    21) "I leave Downing St ten times as sceptical as I was before" Juncker told May as he left

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    22) Next morning at c7am Juncker called Merkel on her mobile, said May living in another galaxy & totally deluding herself

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    23) Merkel quickly reworked her speech to Bundestag to include her now-famous "some in Britain still have illusions" comment

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    24) FAZ concludes: May in election mode & playing to crowd, but what use is a big majority won by nurturing delusions of Brexit hardliners?

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    25) Juncker's team now think it more likely than not that Brexit talks will collapse & hope Brits wake up to harsh realities in time.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    26) What to make of it all? Obviously this leak is a highly tactical move by Commission. But contents deeply worrying for UK nonetheless.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    27) The report points to major communications/briefing problems. Important messages from Berlin & Brussels seem not to be getting through.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    28) Presumably as a result, May seems to be labouring under some really rather fundamental misconceptions about Brexit & the EU27.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    29) Also clear that (as some of us have been warning for a while...) No 10 should expect every detail of the Brexit talks to leak.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    30/30) Sorry for the long thread. And a reminder: full credit for all the above reporting on the May/Juncker dinner goes to the FAZ.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe