David Cameron gives Belgian PM signed Beatrix Potter books as gifts during EU negotiations

Leader said to be "very moved" by present

Friday 19 February 2016 13:26
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David Cameron with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel
David Cameron with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel

David Cameron has given Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel a set of signed Beatrix Potter books during EU negotiations, as a gift for the birth of his daughter.

Other European leaders had collectively given Mr Michel one present between them but Mr Cameron opted for a personalised gift, which left his Belgian counterpart “very moved,” the Times reported.

Mr Michel, a European federalist, is seen as a fierce rival of Mr Cameron’s and has openly discussed the need for an “ever closer union.”

“It was a really personal touch and Mr Michel was very moved,” a Belgian official told The Times. “It might not be well known in Britain, but David is really very charming.”

“It was a full set in French, a true symbol of ever closer union among our peoples,” an EU diplomat said.

A diplomat suggested the move was aimed squarely at the talks. One told The Times: “If you can enlist Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin on your side, then why not?”

During last night’s discussions,Mr Michel demanded a clause was placed in the draft agreement on Britain’s EU membership that rules out holding a second referendum should the UK vote to leave the EU.

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