David Davis calls Michel Barnier "silly" over his stance on Brexit negotiations

The Brexit Secretary said the EU chief negotiator's position had left him "looking silly" 

Tom Peck
Sunday 03 September 2017 10:58 BST
David Davis said Michel Barnier had "looked silly"
David Davis said Michel Barnier had "looked silly"

Brexit Secretary David Davis has said his EU counterpart Michel Barnier looked "silly" at their at their frosty joint press conference on Wednesday.

Mr Davis told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the EU was using the limited time period available for negotiations to put pressure on the UK over the divorce payment. Mr Barnier, the EU's chief negotiatior said on Wednesday that "no progress" had been made on the substantial issues, a stance with which Mr Davis disagreed.

"Bluntly, I think he looked a bit silly because there plainly were things that we had achieved," Mr Davis said, including on health and social security contributions for EU and UK citizens living abroad.

Mr Davis added: "They have set this up to try to create pressure on us on money, that's what it's about, they are trying to play time against money."

Mr Davis said the UK intended to go through the bill "line by line" and added: "They are finding it difficult because we have got good lawyers."

Later, Mr Davis insisted he was not branding Mr Barnier personally "silly", adding: "I said the commission would make itself look silly."

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