Brussels officials have batted off David Davis’ decision to quit as Brexit Secretary, saying it will not hit Brexit talks.
The European Commission will “continue to negotiate in good faith” with prime minister Theresa May, Margaritis Schinas insisted
The chief spokesman said he did “not have a specific comment” about the resignation and refused to be drawn when asked to pay tribute to the outgoing Cabinet minister.
Asked if Mr Davis’s decision to quit was a problem, he replied: “Not for us. We are here to work.”
Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit co-ordinator for the European Parliament, said: “I enjoyed the co-operation with David Davis.
“I hope the UK unites around a position to conclude a broad association agreement with the EU.
“It is in the interest of both that we move the negotiations forward.”
Philippe Lamberts, who sits on the Conference of Presidents, the governing body of the European Parliament, said the resignation would not make any difference. Those ex-Cabinet ministers in full
He told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme: “Was he ever in charge, that is the question?
“The impression we had on the European side was that he was not really driving the negotiation. Theresa May’s office was doing that.
“I don’t think it will make any difference.”
Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said his priority was protecting Ireland’s interests as the exit talks continue without Mr Davis.
He told BBC News: “From our perspective, we need to keep focusing on how we protect Irish interests, protect the interests of Irish people, how we work with the British government and, of course, with the Barnier task force, to find a way forward that can give certainty.
“But the internal challenges within the Conservative Party and within the government, of course, are a matter for the Prime Minister.”