So, against a background of increasingly confused and confusing stories coming from Westminster, these Brexit “negotiations” are about to “start”.
I use quotes because the agenda for Monday is very reminiscent of something which might be referred to as “flannel”. Lots of talking under vague terms like “working groups” and “Meeting of coordinators”. I get that the dog has to see the rabbit, but still there doesn’t appear to be a single session focused on any particular issue.
This is disappointing, but of course not surprising. Unlike the EU (see here and here for the EU’s position papers) the Govt has not presented its position or policy to Parliament (or anyone else for that matter). It would appear the Govt doesn’t know which way is up following Theresa May’s monumental cock-up in the election.
Currently the only person in the UK who (possibly) knows what will be going on in Brussels is the PM. Parliament has not been presented with the Govt plans for the negotiations, so it’s no longer “no running commentary”, it’s “we’re gonna go and do whatever”.
Again, “no running commentary” is not surprising. It is in the best interest of the PM that the humiliation the Govt is likely to suffer at the negotiating table remains a private one.
If only it wasn’t just Michel Barnier who had committed to open and transparent negotiations…