Leaked report paints deeply unflattering picture of UK .

Yesterday, 22 November, we Blogged a number of “off the record” criticisms from EU Diplomats attending the General Affairs Meeting in Brussels.

Today, RTÉ (the Irish national radio & television station) went further - quoting widespread alarm among senior EU figures driven by "chaos in the British government".

Brexit-Partners now believe that the increasing flow of leaks coming from politicians and civil servants across Europe demonstrates the growing concern that a chaotic situation is looming for March 2019.

Opinions have hardened since the October EU summit in Brussels.  EU leaders told Theresa May that Britain needed to do more on the three key issues.  There is now pessimism - and even scorn - about the British government's negotiating position.

It appears that RTÉ had sight of an internal report by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.  It paints a “negative and deeply unflattering” picture of Britain's performance in the Brexit negotiations.  The report is in line with wider feelings expressed in Brussels on Monday.

Worryingly the Irish report quotes a British judge in the European Court of Justice bemoaning "the quality of politicians in Westminster" – and wondering if the British public will view Brexit as "a great mistake" when they realised what leaving the EU entailed.

Meanwhile, senior figures everywhere are, quite rightly, calculating the impact and preparing for a “no agreement Brexit” scenario.   For instance, the cost to Italian businesses could be €4.5 billion per annum.  There is universal concern on what it means for people and customs flows between the Northern and Southern Ireland – as former head of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, speculated that Northern Ireland could "become like Hong Kong, a special autonomous zone within the EU".

Business Leaders and Regulatory Authorities need to increase the priority given to planning and preparing for a no-deal “hard” Brexit in March 2019.

John ShuttleworthComment