Jean-Claude Juncker has damaged himself by leaking Brexit dinner details to the press, says trade negotiator

'Reports of Brexit talks will show the Commission in a bad light around Europe', says trade negotiator

Jean-Claude Juncker met Theresa May at a dinner

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The account of Theresa May's meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker is going to "reverberate around Europe" and it will only damage the European Commission president, according to a leading analyst and trade negotiator.

A report surfaced in the German media on Sunday that Juncker clashed with May during a dinner over Brexit. The report, which many have suggested was leaked by Juncker himself, claims the eurocrat found May deluded and arrogant, and left the dinner more sceptical than he'd arrived.

But Shanker Singham, director of economic policy at the Legatum Institute, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that the apparent leak merely gives the impression that Juncker wants Brexit to fail.

Singham, a veteran trade negotiator who advised Mitt Romney's US election campaign in 2012, added that this will only accelerate a transfer of negotiating power away from Juncker and the Commission towards the Council of Ministers and individual European heads of state.

He said "the more the Commission's negotiating style comes out in the press, the quicker this transition will be.

"You probably have a lot of people waking up in European capitals after this report came out, scratching their heads and asking 'why don't we want this to be a success?'"

"They [the member states] aren't going to sit back and allow [their commercial] interest to be torpedoed because the Commission is playing games."

Listen to the full interview above