- Dario Pignatelli/Reuters
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was angered by leaks from Brexit talks over fears it would weaken Theresa May further. The prime minister reportedly “begged for help” at a dinner with European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker. Juncker has denied that the leaks are true, saying “nothing is true in all of this.”
LONDON – Angela Merkel was made “furious” by the leaks from Brexit talks about Theresa May as Berlin fears her leadership could come to an end if attacks against her continue.
May reportedly “begged for help” according to details of a dinner between the prime minister and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker published by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday.
The German chancellor was reportedly angered by the leaks, as she believes hostility from Europe could weaken May and mean she is replaced by a candidate such as Boris Johnson, who would take a much more hardline view on Brexit.
A senior Berlin source told The Times: “Angela Merkel is furious at these reports. It is known that she has lost patience with the British Conservatives but the last thing she wants is for Theresa May to be replaced in the middle of the Brexit negotiations.”
Merkel is annoyed by the Tories not giving more details about their plans for Brexit, but does not want negotiations to collapse as this would severely hurt European economies and likely result in a no-deal scenario.
According to the leaks, May appeared “anxious… despondent and discouraged,” and had “deep rings” under eyes due to the “enemies at her neck… waiting for her to fall.”
Juncker claimed yesterday that he had no idea who was behind the leaks and that the reports were false.
He said: “I am really surprised – if not shocked – about what has been written in the German press, and of course repeated by the British press. Nothing is true in all of this.
“I had an excellent working dinner with Theresa May. She was in good shape, she was not tired, she was fighting as is her duty so everything for me was OK.”
When asked whether May had “begged for help” as she was struggling to hold her cabinet together, Juncker said: “No, that’s not the style of British prime ministers.”