Theresa May’s government has been ridiculed as chaotic and incoherent in a damning report. Particularly, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Davis have been accused by EU figures for embarrassing the UK, according to a leaked Irish government paper. 

While the Department of foreign affairs in Dublin declined to comment on the leaked paper, the UK government’s spokesperson emphasised that the government was focussing on getting a good deal with Ireland and “working hard to ensure a frictionless border.”

But the Liberal Democrats blamed the British ministers for “turning the UK into an international embarrassment” when it comes to Brexit.

Leaked embarrassment

The document, which is a collection of political reports from Irish embassies across Europe between the 6 and 10 November, criticises Boris Johnson and offers a negative image of the Brexit negotiating team. 

The report, which was obtained by Irish media group RTE, referred to Johnson’s meeting with the Czech government where it was noted how he was “unimpressive,” but “avoided any gaffes.” For the Czech deputy minister for foreign affairs Jacub Durr, the UK ministers’ job was difficult since the government’s message wasn’t clear. He was understanding and said that he “felt sorry British Ambassadors around the EU trying to communicate a coherent message when there is political confusion at home."

In regards to Davis, the paper stated that Brexit wasn’t even the focus of a meeting between him, the French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian and the French Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau. According to the leaked paper: "Despite having billed this in the media in advance as a meeting to 'unblock' French resistance, Davis hardly mentioned Brexit at all during the meeting, much to French surprise, focusing instead on foreign policy issues."

In Latvia, officials were honest and argued that “the biggest problem is the chaotic political situation in the UK government."

In Cyprus, the Cypriot minister for foreign affairs Ioannis Kasoulides told the Irish ambassador that “the UK must do more on the financial settlement - it's a matter of trust".

Ian Forrester, the British judge in the European Court of Justice, was disappointed about “the quality of politicians in Westminster.” It was a great mystery to him if, eventually, the British public would view Brexit as “a great mistake,” when leaving the EU was revealed to be nothing like the Brexiteers’ manufactured paradise. Forrester’s hope was that “it would gradually dawn on people what leaving actually entailed, that there might be a slow realisation that this was just a great mistake and the mood might swing back to remaining.”

Gaël Veyssiere, the head of cabinet of the French minister for European Affairs in Paris, told Irish embassy officials that the UK was in serious danger in December, if it didn’t bring a fair offer on the table regarding its financial obligations. 

The concerns here show that many European countries worry about the future of the Brexit negotiations and the way Brexit is being discussed by certain ministers. Together with the issue of the financial settlement and the uncertainty surrounding the government’s lack of clarity on essential issues, these are the most obvious problems for the EU.

On the one hand, the government’s spokesman defended the UK’s Brexit preparations and the progress that has been made and highlighted the “good and constructive” relationship between London and Dublin. On the other hand, UK politicians found that the government has become the laughing stock of politicians across Europe, spreading confusion and chaos, as Britain’s future was increasingly “hanging on a balance.” For many Liberal Democrats, when we finally arrive at the crucial and frightening moment of no deal, then the British people should be able to opt out and to be given the chance to exit from Brexit. The last exit from Brexit, might seem suddenly, the best possible outcome.