Bradshaw – Barnier press conference shows Boris’ flippancy is undermining our negotiations

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, today slapped down Boris Johnson in a press conference in Brussels.

In reference to the Foreign Secretary’s comments yesterday, Mr Barnier said: “I'm not hearing any whistling. Just the clock ticking.” 

He also expressed frustration with the lack of position papers being provided by the UK Government.

Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said: 

“A Foreign Secretary should advance Britain’s interests through constructive and respectful diplomacy. But Barnier’s comments today show that Boris Johnson’s flippancy and rudeness is undermining our interests and increasing the chances of Brexit going worse than it already is.

“Telling our closest allies to ‘go whistle’, when only a good relationship with the EU will get a good deal for Britain, is putting partisan politics before the country. Boris needs to understand his quips in the House of Commons may delight his backbenchers but they rile our friends on the Continent.

“With the clock ticking fast, it is deeply frustrating that there is a total absence of clarity on our side on vital issues that will shape the future of the country. The Government needs to knuckle down, do their homework, start producing papers and approach the negotiations in the spirit of compromise rather than confrontation.”