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EU defends David Davis over flying visit to Brussels

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

EU officials have come to the defence of David Davis after the Brexit Secretary was mocked for his flying visit to Brussels on Monday.

The Brexit Secretary made a quick stop to kick off round two of the negotiations - staying for barely an hour before heading back to London.

That was despite Mr Davis earlier insisting it was time for the United Kingdom and the EU to "get down to business" and make progress on thrashing out a deal.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer hit out at the brief drop-in and reminded the Government that “the clock is ticking and the risks are increasing day by day”.

"David Davis can hardly say this is the time 'to get down to business' and then spend only a few minutes in Brussels before heading back to Whitehall,” he said.

But EU Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said: "We do not consider this as a problem and we're not concerned about it.

"Chief negotiators do not have to be present all the time, these are well-structured talks over a week, so work is ongoing and we do not feel concerned about this."

But Mr Schinas refused to comment on claims officials are frustrated by an apparent lack of preparation by Britain - compounded by a photo of Mr Davis at the negotiating table without any notes.


Meanwhile Labour MPs have called for more women to take part in the Brexit negotiating team to prevent talks becoming “just another job for the boys”.

Only one of the nine top negotiators - Catherine Webb, who is the director of market access and budget at the Department for Exiting the European Union - is female.

Some 56 Labour MPs have written a letter to Theresa May urging her to review the gender balance and warn of the risk to women’s workplace rights if there is a lack of representation.

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