According to the Financial Times, the British Government has accused the European Commission of seeking to “punish” the UK over Brexit. It has been alleged that a private dinner between the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the European Commission President was a “disaster” highlighting the disparity between what the UK wants and what the EU considers realistic. However, speaking during election campaigning, Mrs May dismissed the account as “just Brussels gossip”, noting that immediately after the dinner the Commission had described the talks as “constructive”. The leak could strengthen the hand of Eurosceptics in Mrs May’s own party who believe the Brexit negotiations cannot succeed. Pro-EU politicians also emphasised that Brexit might take place without an agreement. Keir Starmer, the Brexit spokesman for the opposition Labour party, believes that “no deal is the worst of all possible outcomes”. Many of Mrs May’s ministers agree that the best Britain can hope for is a broad outline of a future trade agreement with details to be filled in over a transition period lasting several years.
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