Members of the Bundestag have begun grumbling about the UK having “moles” in Brussels and claim they are using underhand tactics to gain an edge ahead of the upcoming divorce talks.
They want to bring in new rules which will put British representatives in “quarantine” meaning they cannot attend any meetings or event which are to do with Brexit.
Amazingly the proposed measure would even include our elected MEPs, who would no longer be allowed to take part in crucial debates concerning the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
It is being championed by senior MPs in Berlin but is unlikely to receive much support in Brussels itself, where eurocrats are keen not to overly marginalise their British coworkers.
German representatives have complained that officials from the UK are refusing to leave meetings when material sensitive to the other 27 member states is brought up, saying they “pointedly” stay in their seats.
Theresa May, by contrast, has left the last few European Council summits a day early to allow the rest of the bloc’s leaders to get together and discuss their post-Brexit future.
According to a report in the German tabloid newspaper Bild some members of the EU Commission are becoming frustrated with the constant leaks reaching Westminster and are pointing the finger at UK employees.
German MPs have also raised questions about whether British members of staff can realistically take Brussels’ side in the upcoming negotiations and have called for them to be excluded from the talks completely.
They say the scenario of officials from the UK being involved directly in negotiating with the British government on a number of key issues is unthinkable and must be prevented.
German MP Heribert Hirte, from Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party, called the situation “intolerable” and called for a quarantine of UK staff, saying: “You can not serve two masters.”
British officials were left shellshocked in the immediate aftermath of last June’s referendum result and feared for their future careers, but since then people from the UK have continued to land jobs in Brussels.
Mrs May today announced her intention to trigger Article 50 on March 29 starting a two-year period of divorce talks in which experts from the UK are expected to play a key part for Brussels.
Some of the bloc’s most senior officials hail from Britain, and they will be expected to provide support behind the scenes as top eurocrats thrash out the bloc’s future relationship with the UK.