Brexit talks looks set to be delayed due to insufficient progress made by the Tories on key issues – but that hasn’t stopped David Davis skipping the start of the latest round of negations.
The fifth round of talks are beginning in Brussels today, but a Government spokesperson confirmed Davis will not be present.
They said he was too busy with “parliamentary business” to attend and will instead hold a catch-up meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday.
That seems an extraordinarily counter productive response to news that trade talks will be delayed due to the UK Government’s lack of progress so far.
Last week, the European Parliament concluded that “sufficient progress has not yet been made” on the rights of EU citizens in the UK, the Irish border and the UK’s exit payment.
Scrapbook reported that even two Tory MEPs voted for the motion condemning the lack of progress made by their own party.
Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling were suspended from their party over the weekend, but their stance has been proven correct today.
After all, this is hardly the first time David Davis has given the impression he’s not taking the talks seriously.
Who can forget the photo of a grinning Davis without any papers facing a fully-prepared Michel Barnier and his team:
Davis was later accused of “skulking” away from the negotiations after just a few hours.
Hardly surprising then to hear from Downing Street that Davis isn’t taking part in today’s talks because they’re too “technical”:
DD not in Brussels for talks today because they are "technical", says No 10, he'll be in Downing St with PM to meet businesses about Brexit
— Emily Ashton (@elashton) October 9, 2017
Theresa May is trying to play tough with the EU today, telling them that “the ball is in their court.”
But you can’t win if you’re not even prepared to turn up for the match…