The Prime Minister's chief adviser is driving a tough approach with UK negotiators in sticking firmly to their red lines and not offering a comprom
The Prime Minister’s chief adviser is driving a tough approach with UK negotiators in sticking firmly to their red lines and not offering a compromise in talks, according to EU insiders speaking to The Sun. Brussels diplomats fear he is destroying any hopes of Mr Johnson quickly wrapping up a post-Brexit trade deal with the bloc. Several sources have also told the newspaper there is now increasing concern Vote Leave supporters in the Prime Minister’s inner circle are pushing for a “pure” no deal scenario.
Oliver Lewis, who is the UK’s deputy negotiator and a close ally of Mr Cummings, has been highlighted by Brussels as a key hurdle in the talks, and has been accused of repeatedly trying to stop progress whenever it has appeared there might be a breakthrough.
EU insiders have nicknamed Mr Lewis, who is Mr Johnson’s no deal Brexit adviser, as “the political commissar”.
But UK officials are attempting to play down the impact the pair are having on talks, and insist they are just being realistic about the kind of deal the Government can get through the House of Commons.
They are also furiously denying suggestions any of the Prime Minister’s team are trying to block an agreement.
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7.45am update: EU leaders stun Brussels in Brexit revolt after members refuse to fund no deal crisis plan
EU member states like Sweden are revolting against Brussels’ plan to protect itself from the economic impact of a no-deal Brexit crisis.
Brussels has demanded EU countries fund a €5 billion Brexit reserve fund to protect countries most at risk of economic turmoil after the UK leaves the bloc.
However, according to RTE, Sweden voiced fierce opposition to the plans at the European Union summit in Brussels this weekend.
Europe Editor Tony Connelly said that EU member-states are furious at the additional funding demand because “Brexit has nothing to do with the pandemic”.