Yesterday the British Prime Minister and the president of the European Commission publicly called for acceleration in Brexit talks, which have all but ground to a halt.
The pair met for a private dinner in Brussels in an attempt to kick-start the stalled Brexit negotiations.
And in a bid to show cooperation and unity, the pair issued a joint statement after the meal which said the meeting was a “broad, constructive exchange” and called for movement.
But despite the cheery statement, the reality has simply seen both camps puzzled as to the point of the evening, which they say achieved little.
An anonymous UK official said the meeting showed Theresa May was desperate for allies after failing to secure the support of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel in recent days.
They told Politico: “She doesn’t have any more room for manoeuvre so they have to help create it for her.”
And EU officials failed to offer any positive spin on the meal when contacted by the website.
One, when asked whether the meeting revealed any further insight into Mrs May’s tactics, replied simply: “Nope – but it was a constructive and friendly dinner.”
Downing Street has insisted yesterday’s meeting had “been in the diary for weeks”, but EU chiefs said Juncker did not have the dinner in his diary.
It came after last week’s negotiations ended with little movement.
After the fifth round of discussions were brought to a close last week, Mr Barnier said he would not recommend that talks move on to the next stage when he attends the European Council on Thursday.
The joint statement issued yesterday said: “As regards the Article 50 negotiations, both sides agreed that these issues are being discussed in the framework agreed between the EU27 and the United Kingdom, as set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
“The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission reviewed the progress made in the Article 50 negotiations so far and agreed that these efforts should accelerate over the months to come.
“The working dinner took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.
“They discussed their common interest in preserving the Iran nuclear deal and their work on strengthening the security of citizens in Europe, notably on the fight against terrorism.
“They also prepared for the European Council that will take place later this week.”
Source : EXPRESS