MUCH is being made in the UK of a report in a German newspaper of the recent meeting between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker.
According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Prime Minister May and EU Commission President Juncker found little to agree on and supposedly after the meeting, Mr Juncker called German Chancellor Angela Merkel and told her that Mrs May was “living in another galaxy” and was “deluding” herself.
Reportedly, he told Mrs May “I’m leaving Downing Street 10 times more sceptical than I was before” as they disagreed on so many matters crucial to each side.
The main areas of disagreement cover the time it will take to settle the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British migrants in the EU which Mrs May believes can be resolved by the end of June.
The other main ‘bone of contention’ raised during the meeting concerned Britain’s ongoing financial obligations to the European Union once it leaves which has been cited by EU representatives as being between €50 million and €60 million.
According to the report, the prime minister said that the UK had no legal obligation to make any payments to cover expenses such as pensions once it leaves the Union which left Mr Juncker saying that unless Britain agreed to pay what the Union believed it owed, there would be no trade deal.
Finally, there also appeared to be a major difference over confidentiality and the negotiations which the British side wish to keep secret until the last minute whilst the EU intends to report details regularly.
Mrs May has dismissed this report as being “Brussels gossip” but took the opportunity to confirm that talks are likely to be tough and that she is the only politician strong enough to be able to cope with the demands of the 27 states which form the European Union.