They’re damn right to be affronted

EU Brexit negotiators were left “flabbergasted” after their British counterparts launched a legal deconstruction of the so-called “Brexit bill” Wednesday as the Brussels talks headed for an increasingly acrimonious impasse, EU sources have told The Telegraph.

British negotiators spent three hours launching a painstaking, line-by-line rebuttal of the EU’s demands for €100bn divorce settlement to the barely concealed fury of EU negotiators.

“There was total amazement,” the EU source said, “Everyone was completely flabbergasted that this young man from Whitehall was saying that the EU’s preparation on the financial settlement was ‘inadequate’. It did not go down well.”

Given that the EU doesn’t in fact operate on the rule of law then how impertinent of someone to start to insist upon it.

18 thoughts on “They’re damn right to be affronted”

  1. Been waiting for such a move from the UK. Bluster and threats from the EU beautifully met. Their threat of “We demand clarity” has given them rather more clarity than they can take.

  2. On the other hand, will such thickos as Verhofstaten be able to grasp this “clarity” when offered ? Expect more, much more bluster …

  3. What’s described here is less majeste. I just don’t believe it’s anything more than the EU planting quotes like this for the benefit of British negotiators and their domestic audience, us.

  4. Only scum the likes of NewRemainiac is likely to be sobbing into their vin ordinaire about the EU being told to fuck off.

  5. After all those memes of EU people at a table with a pile of docs vs. David Davis without.

    The schadenfreude. It is so deeply pleasant.

  6. It’s called preparation, something the EU haven’t done.

    I accept that what reaches us plebs is unlikely to be the truth, but this is a classic difficult negotiation move.

    Asking questions is the key. They ain’t gonna be able to answer.

    Shitlord negotiating straight out of the Manual on how to handle difficult negotiators.

    Read Dr Gavin Kennedy on this.

    Basically you treat them like they are 4 years old.

  7. Reward good behaviour and refuse to give in to bad behaviour.

    Good advice for new Mummies and Daddies!

  8. E Lud: What’s described here is less majeste

    Is that an orthography malfunction (lèse-majesté) or a joke that I’m to dense to understand?

    What is particularly pleasant about this incident is that somebody “young” (and so apparently junior) was sent in to bat since it is beneath the dignity of EU panjandrums to bandy words with some whipper-snapper of a Whitehall box-wallah.

  9. Let’s hope they don’t find out what “inadequate” means in Civil Service speak.

    I don’t know what it means either, however it must be pretty serious.

  10. Well when you are dealing with the belgians (the ultimate eu junkies- brussels transformed from a second rate city with all the charm of a provincial english town on a wet sunday afternoon in January in the 80s to lots of shiny new mega buildings courtesy of the eu) and the French – what did we expect. One survives by sucking furiously on the eu teat, the other hates us for saving them twice in the last hundred years . Without a doubt they thought that they could punish us without any comeback.

  11. “A young man from Whitehall” telling the EU apparatchiks where they can get off in a controlled, logical and forensic manner. My chest is puffing out with patriotic pride this morning.

  12. @ Ironman
    Ageist bigotry – they cannot *stand* having their failings shown up by someone who looks young (he need not actually *be* all that young – half-a-lifetime ago I was getting condescending remarks from people the best part of a decade younger because they *assumed* I was younger than them).
    “Inadequate” – yes that is definitely the sort of word that my boss would have told me in those days to substitute for “a load of fertiliser”!

  13. So now for phase two; calculating the appropriate charge to the EU for us to allow free trade, since we run a substantial balance of trade deficit with them.

  14. Let’s hope they don’t find out what “inadequate” means in Civil Service speak. I don’t know what it means either, however it must be pretty serious.

    It’s usually inversely proportional, the more understated and the fewer words used the more serious it is, thus “There may be difficulties” means “We’re completely fucked”.

    Perhaps the manual might help…

    The unofficial guide to UK Civil Service jargon

  15. @ John Galt
    Maybe it isn’t in your lexicon because most civil servants *are* inadequate (in the normal meaning of the word). My favourite boss was an Actuary with a Cambridge Maths degree and felt that we should judge others more leniently than we judged ourselves.

  16. Evidently the “young man from Whitehall” was Mark Bowman, the Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury.

    Hopefully, the Government will publish his presentation.

    He probably won’t have to buy his own beer for quite some time.

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