The President of the European Commission says the extensive leaks of conversations he had with British Prime Minister Theresa May about Brexit were a “serious mistake.”
Jean-Claude Juncker told German newspaper Handelsblatt that “there is no such thing as a small circle” when asked about who would have known the details of the sensitive conversation in Downing Street.
“The fact that parts of this conversation were reported was a serious mistake,” he said.
Gabor Steingart, chief editor of Handelsblatt then asked: “In which you were involved? Team Juncker?”
Juncker did not categorically deny his team’s involvement and responded: “I am very talented with regard to self-criticism but I do not want to saddle myself with that.”
An extensive leak of a meeting between Juncker and Theresa May appeared in the German press just over a week ago, depicting Juncker as dismayed at May’s position on Brexit negotiations. He reportedly told May as he left the dinner: “I leave Downing Street 10 times more sceptical than I was before.”
Downing Street reacted furiously to the leaks. May told the BBC she will be “a bloody difficult woman” in talks with Juncker. The Prime Minister then claimed that the EU was conspiring to swing the UK general election, which is taking place on June 8 this year.
“Britain’s negotiating position has been misrepresented in the continental press. The European Commission’s negotiating stance has hardened,” she said in a speech.
“Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials. All of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the UK general election that will take place on the 8th June.”
Juncker added in his interview with Handelsblatt: “I am getting on well with Theresa May, contrary to what has been reported in recent days. She is a tough lady… but we do not have the same opinion. In this regard, love has natural limits.”
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