David Davis’s Irish problem

David Davis's Irish problem
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It's safe to say this hasn't been a good week for the government with Brexit talks unexpectedly stalling on Monday. But if there were to be one Cabinet minister said to be having the worst time, it would be David Davis. At a select committee appearance on Tuesday, the Brexit secretary came unstuck over the so-called Brexit impact assessment reports. Despite once saying he had commissioned a multitude to make sure there were no nasty surprises that could cause an economic shock, Davis now claims there are no reports and that they would be of no use anyway.

This has led many to question whether he is really up to his brief. So, Mr S was intrigued to learn of an apparent diplomatic incident between the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Irish government. The Financial Times reports that Davis's team set a bad tone to communications with the Taoiseach when an official wrote to the government requesting a meeting with Enda Kenny – the former Taoiseach – rather than Leo Varadkar:

'He also offended Irish sensitivities, when, according to Irish journalist Tony Connelly, an official in the UK Brexit department wrote to the Irish government asking for a meeting with “Kenny”.

The approximate response, according to Mr Connelly, was “a) the Taoiseach [Enda Kenny] is not Davis’s interlocutor and, b) you don’t refer to the prime minister of a country by his surname”.'

As the government try and solve the Irish border problem, doubts are rising over how suitable Davis is to his current role...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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