EU sticks the boot in: Top eurocrat shares cartoon mocking Britain's readiness for Brexit

Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff, Martin Selmayr, pointedly retweeted a drawing showing the Brexit secretary looking flustered and confused just as the negotiations proper finally got under way.  

The Telegraph cartoon depicts a calm and collected Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, sitting at one end of a long table with the caption: “Whenever you’re ready, Mr Davis”.

At the other end of the table the Brexit secretary looks lost surrounded by pieces of paper containing phrases hinting at major headaches for UK negotiators such as soft Brexit, DUP deal and Queen’s speech. 

The drawing is a witty nod to the overriding feeling in Brussels that the UK is descending into political chaos following the shock General Election result and is hopelessly unprepared for the Brexit talks.

Mr Selmayr’s decision to share it with his 23,000 followers will be seen as a light barb at Britain and sums up the general feeling within EU circles at the UK’s level of preparedness for the negotiations. 

Eurocrats have repeatedly voiced concerns that British Government has not grasped the enormous complexity of the challenge that faces it as both sides look to navigate towards what Brussels calls an “orderly exit”.

Britain’s Brexit position has been thrown into chaos since Theresa May sensationally lost her majority earlier this month, with European leaders now unclear whether or not the country will still leave the single market.

There is also deep worry within the EU Commission over the UK’s seemingly informal approach to vital issues, such as offering to reach a “gentleman’s agreement” on citizens’ rights. 

Mr Davis tried to calm the waters as he arrived in Brussels this morning with a conciliatory speech towards Europe, telling them he wanted to achieve a good deal and that there is “more that unites us than divides us”.

Eurocrats have expressed consternation at previous comments by senior UK ministers, including Mr Davis and even Mrs May, that they would rather walk away from the table than accept a “bad deal”.

And already this morning Mr Barnier looked to lay down the law to Britain, insisting straight away that the negotiations will be conducted along the lines of a phased approach favoured by the EU. 

Today’s episode is not the first time Mr Selmayr – a German lawyer nicknamed the Berlaymont Monster due to his fearsome reputation – has sailed close to the wind with on his Twitter account. 

Last year, just before the UK referendum, he described the prospect of Donald Trump, Beppe Grillo, Marine Le Pen and Boris Johnson becoming world leaders as a “horror scenario that shows well why it is worth fighting populism”.

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Daily Express :: Politics Feed

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