EU officials say UK Brexit stance chaotic in leaked document
London: European officials see Britain's performance in Brexit negotiations as confused and chaotic, a leaked Irish government document says.
Irish broadcaster RTE published details on Thursday of a confidential document from Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs compiling reports from Irish diplomats across the European Union.
One quoted Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Jakub Durr as saying "he felt sorry for British ambassadors around the EU trying to communicate a coherent message when there is political confusion at home."
Latvian government officials are cited as saying "the biggest problem is the chaotic political situation in the UK government."
Ian Forrester, a British judge at the European Court of Justice, reportedly bemoaned "the quality of politicians in Westminster" during a meeting in Luxembourg, and wondered whether the British public would come to view Brexit as "a great mistake."
Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019 but divorce talks have stalled on issues including the size of the UK's Brexit bill and the future status of the border between the UK and EU member Ireland.
EU officials have expressed frustration with a lack of concrete proposals from Britain to break the logjam. Irish politicians, in particular, say the UK urgently needs to spell out how it can keep the Ireland-Northern Ireland border free of customs posts and other barriers after Brexit.
Ireland's foreign affairs ministry declined to comment on the report. British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said it would not comment on leaked documents but insisted "the government is working hard on preparations for Brexit."
Meanwhile, Britain can no longer host the European Capital of Culture in 2023 as planned because of Brexit, even though some non-EU countries are eligible, the European Commission said on Thursday.
Britain and Hungary had been due to get the honour in six years' time, and five British cities had even reportedly submitted nominations at the invitation of the government.
But the European Commission, the executive arm of the soon-to-be 27-nation EU, said it had sent a letter to the British culture ministry on Wednesday saying that it was no longer possible.