BRUSSELS has slammed Theresa May’s “have cake and eat it” new Brexit plan with claims EU bosses will need her to water it down even more.
And they have compared David Davis to a rat leaving a sinking ship claiming leading Brexiteers are “leaving for higher ground” as they fail to back the Prime Minister’s negotiating strategy.
AFP Brussels slam David Davis as being like a ‘rat leaving a sinking ship’ after his resignation
But in a withering assessment of his role, several Brussels figures suggest it will not actually make any difference to the talks.
One diplomat told The Sun: “It’s not going to lead to a substantial change in the Brexit negotiations because in the last couple of months David Davis wasn’t any more the main negotiator, it was Olly Robbins.”
Another said: “The article 50 negotiation has so far taken up several hundreds of hours in negotiation. Of which minister Davis was here for four this year.
“His role has always been more defined in London. So that’s where they will have to look at the consequences. On this end we will just negotiate with whomever the UK government sends here to do so.”
AFP There are claims EU bosses Michel Barnier, right, and Jean-Claude Juncker, left, will need her to water down Mrs May’s proposal further
Others have taken aim at Mr Davis for choosing to step away from the talks at such a crucial moment, with another EU diplomat saying: “The resignation will be framed as not taking responsibility for a soft Brexit but looks more like not taking responsibility at all.
“It is starting to look like the flight of the Brexiteers.”
With suggestions other leading Eurosceptics in the Government could resign too, another diplomat said: “They [Brexiteers] landed your country in a mess and now they’re leaving for higher ground.
“Rats and sinking ships, that age old tale.”
PA Mr Davis resigned saying Mrs May was pursuing a ‘dangerous strategy’ he could no longer support
Mr Davis resigned saying the PM was pursuing a “dangerous strategy” he could no longer support, after she finally got her Cabinet to sign off on a basis for talks with the EU.
But Mrs May faces a further headache after the Irish deputy PM says the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier will find it “difficult” to accept the proposal agreed at Chequers on Friday.
This is because it will keep the UK tied to the EU’s rules but only on goods and agricultural products – and Mrs May has repeatedly been warned this approach is “cherry-picking” and will not be approved.
Mr Barnier said the discussions at Chequers, the PM’s country estate – are “to be welcomed”, but said he said needed to asses if they are “workable and realistic” ahead of discussions on July 16.
AFP Simon Coveney, right, said EU negotiator Michel Barnier will find it difficult to accept the PMs plan
But he said he needed to see the full proposals in the Government’s long-await White Paper – expected this week. .
This was echoed by others in Brussels, with one diplomatic source telling the Daily Mail: “It’s about the White Paper at the moment. It’s important to wait for that detail. We can’t be sure about anything until we see it.
“But what is being said about goods still has a ‘have cake and eat it’ feeling. That will be the sticking point.
“The way it’s seen in relation to the single market is, you don’t just swallow one bit, you swallow all of it.”
David Davis says he can’t support Theresa May’s Brexit plan