February 16, 2018
Theresa May heads to Berlin today to talk shop with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. There’s no agenda for the talks, although painful election results and recalcitrant parliamentary allies might be off-limits. More likely is that the two will discuss Brexit and the status of negotiations.
Theresa May heads to Berlin to try and bypass Michel Barnier, but will it work?
Part of the reason the PM is in Berlin is the Government’s strategy of trying to go around the EU Commission and deal directly with European leaders. Relations have soured with the Commission and its lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, and there are signs that even EU members are not all that pleased with how the negotiations are going (see below).
Playing the security card
After her brief trip to Berlin, May is set to deliver the second “Road to Brexit” speech tomorrow at the Munich Security Conference, dwelling, unsurprisingly, on security issues. Boris Johnson kicked the series off with a rather underwhelming effort on Wednesday, which failed to offer much at all that was new, but it seems May won’t repeat that mistake.
Angela Merkel’s spokesman has already warned that Europe expects concrete measures from Britain. As Front Bench discussed last week, all the fudging and contradictory statements from British ministers is not making negotiations incredibly difficult. Perhaps as a concession to these demands, May is reportedly set to announce that Britain will remain in Europol and the European Arrest Warrant scheme as part of a “deep and special security partnership”.
A meaningful concession?
If true, this is a substantial announcement and significant sign of goodwill from the UK; security is by far Britain’s biggest strength in dealing with the EU. However, as my colleague Jack Maidment explains in this week’s edition of Chopper’s Brexit Podcast, that doesn’t make it an easy card to play. Neither Britain nor the EU wish to become less safe in future, and so it’s hard to see how Britain could seriously threaten not to cooperate with Europe on this front.
Moreover, this is unlikely to go down well with hardline Brexiteers. Although May has said Britain will not be subject to EU laws after Brexit, its not immediately clear whether that is compatible with remaining in Europol or the arrest warrant scheme. Jacob Rees-Mogg has already expressed scepticism about Britain remaining in such schemes, and this could become another unexpected flashpoint within the Tory party.
Don’t do a Davos
One big risk for the PM is that, finding herself on familiar turf from her Home Office days, she reverts to domestic mode. In Davos – where May offered a narrow speech on tech firms and terrorism which failed to mention Brexit – she was totally shown up by the star power of Donald Trump and the grandiose European visions of the Merkel-Emmanuel Macron double act.
It’s fair to point out that May will be in Munich for the world’s leading security conference, and so this time it will completely appropriate to stick to security. This speech is also only a warm up for a proper landmark Brexit speech later this month, and its expected to be closer to Boris's on Wednesday (little new, a little underwhelming) than to her Lancaster House speech in January 2017.
Nevertheless, if May does do Davos and ends up looking like a Home Secretary on tour it won’t do Britain’s positions any good. If Britain wants a good relationship with the EU it needs to offer some certainty and a clear direction of travel. Failure to do that tomorrow will only pile further pressure on Theresa May for her next speech.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Davina Potratz wishes her softer side was shown on ‘Selling Sunset’ | Page Six Celebrity News
July 31, 2020
5E6w1CgPiEI
Will Ellen Degeneres be replaced? | Page Six Celebrity News
July 30, 2020
qL3cje-HhPM
Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn reveals why she feuds with Heather Rae Young, Davina Potratz
July 30, 2020
s7kL7qBqzg4
Tekashi 6ix9ine Shoots Music Video After Release from House Arrest
August 02, 2020
VyVVV5Tg1EA
Montana Couple Married at Age 91, Signed a Prenup | TMZ
August 02, 2020
1sImDqNXfko
Donald Trump Suggests Presidential Election Should Be Delayed | TMZ
July 31, 2020
dueLNw16vkY
Ben's Red Carpet Ban, Charlize's House Rules & Defensive Brian
August 04, 2020
b08TGtPZAuw
"Coyote Ugly" Turns 20: E! News Rewind
August 04, 2020
-WtjNuiiY_M
Demi Lovato Accidentally Leaks Fiance Max Ehrich's Email Address | E! News
August 03, 2020
v6ljWH1ezZs
Chris Meloni talks 'Maxxx' and His Return to 'Law and Order'
July 30, 2020
ZFTDB-dwyUA
'The Fugitive' Star Boyd Holbrook Shares Why He Left 'Narcos' After 2 Seasons
July 30, 2020
2kTuD8LTGCE
'Umbrella Academy' Season 2 Finds The Hargreeves Navigating the 1960s
July 24, 2020
JdPgaIxmUKg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Verona
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Torino
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Lecce - Parma
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Udinese
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Fiorentina
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Cagliari
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Lazio
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Roma
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Juventus
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - AC Milan
28
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Napoli
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Norwich City
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Watford
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Manchester United
26
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Sampdoria
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Wolves
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Fiorentina
25
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
25
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
24
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Atalanta
23
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Juventus
22
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Chelsea
22
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Ham United
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Fiorentina
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Roma
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Napoli
21
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - AC Milan
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
-g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.