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`Am I bovvered?' EU shrugs its shoulders at Davis resignation
Others, officials and diplomats alike, were a little bit more forthcoming when asked to "react",  though all off the record.

Most were quick to point out that Davis actually spent very little time in Brussels negotiating. A total of four hours this  year, according to official records. He would hardly be missed. A much-vaunted warm relationship with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier - their shared hillwalking passion was often mentioned - was largely for show.

It wasn't only that Davis's role in the talks was never central, a role assumed week in week out by Olly Robbins, the civil servant who is Theresa May's chief EU adviser and strategist, but the latter had effectively usurped his position in the chain of command. "There have been clear tensions for some time," one diplomatic source observed.

Robbins has drafted most of the policy documents and May's key speeches and many of these have reportedly not even been seen by the now former Brexit secretary until they were about to be delivered. Some reports suggest he had been out of the loop on the White Paper discussed at cabinet, due to be published this week.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 11:36:17 PM EST
Brussels sheds no tears for Davis and Johnson
But neither of them has played a prominent role in negotiations over the U.K.'s departure from the European Union next March. The EU's main interlocutor has long been Oliver Robbins, May's top Europe adviser (poached from Davis' Department for Exiting the EU late last year). The bloc's top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, made exactly that point at an EU summit late last month.

"Davis has only seen him [Barnier] once in three months," one EU diplomat wrote in his notes about Barnier's presentation. "Robbins is the real negotiator."

When I read that, I did a double take: the guy was officially Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and he only met Barnier once in three months? Are you effing kidding me?
by Bernard on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 08:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my quote above: "Most were quick to point out that Davis actually spent very little time in Brussels negotiating. A total of four hours this year, according to official records."

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 09:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But, that would mean doing actual work! Surely, that is for the little people?
by fjallstrom on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 01:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it could mean just eating in good restaurants. But he couldn't bother even doing that.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 02:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Tory's idea of a good restaurant doesn't work very well on the continent.
by rifek on Sat Jul 14th, 2018 at 02:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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