It’s looking like Brussels is starting to realise that the UK is not going to roll over to Michel Barnier’s negotiating tactics.
The message now seems to be – Mr Barnier, you are the weakest link – goodbye!
Or he’s being forced to take an early bath in The Apprentice.
Either way, the scuttlebutt is that when the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, makes her state of the union address on the 16th of September, she will be using it to pave the way for sidelining the EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Something I mentioned as a possibility in an earlier video.
With the talks then to be taken over by the president of the EU Council, Charles Michel, and herself.
This would effectively be the EU27 leaders taking over from the previously EU Commission driven talks.
Maybe they’re worried that Michel Barnier has lost his touch after putting Theresa May in her place.
Or maybe they’re worried that they’re going to end up with a glut of rubber dinghies, outboard motors and paddles they can’t shift, as well as having to declare the EU a fish-free zone.
The Telegraph reports an EU diplomat as saying von der Layen will:
“… set the scene to sideline Barnier and Frost to find a high-level political solution.”
But they haven’t got long as any agreement would need to be made by the end of October to ensure it gets through the Brussels admin process.
There are still some more Brexit talks between Michel Barnier and the UK negotiator, Lord David Frost of Allenton, before von der Leyen’s state of the union address.
And round 8 of those talks start next Tuesday the 8th of September and go on until Thursday.
With the itinerary looking just about the same as in previous sessions – fisheries, level playing fields etc.
Lord Frost used a series of Tweets to outline his approach to them, saying:
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Brexit: Michel Barnier to be sidelined.