|Katya Adler, making a point|
Talking of Brexitcast...
You may recall, earlier in the week, that The Spectator's James Forsyth received a long message from 'a contact' in Downing Street and that he general assumption is that the 'contact' is Dominic Cummings.
One part of it read:
- We will make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go the front of the queue for future cooperation — cooperation on things both within and outside EU competences. Those who support delay will go to the bottom of the queue. Supporting delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us.
This was the subject of one of last night's contributions from BBC Europe editor Katya Adler, who charactised the above as 'a rant' - though it doesn't read like one to me - before proceding to report what an EU diplomat had told her in response. Here, to my mind, she went beyond merely reporting what that diplomat said, instead, backed up his points with her own choice of language. See if you agree:
- But I'll tell you what doesn't go down very well in the EU is also feeling that they're being threatened. So the other anonymous briefing that came out, apart from the phone call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel, was basically what appeared to be a rant and the suspicion is that it was from Dominic Cummings, the special adviser to the Prime Minister, but it sounded very angry and it sounded very threatening like, you know, if it comes tasking the EU for an extension then somehow those EU countries that voted in favour of the extension, this anonymous briefing said, would somehow be punished by the UK. The EU reacts so badly to something like that because also what are you going to do to those individual countries? Rather than make them think "Oh, we must sign up to this deal". I mean, one diplomat put it to me, this deal as it stands, Boris Johnson's proposals, particularly this customs area that we're talking about, just does not work for the EU. So the threat that they should go for it, and also this implication after a general election it could be an even harder line Conservative Government that wouldn't even offer this proposal, so, you know, this diplomat was saying, "This doesn't work for us so why would we say yes to this in case there is something that works for us even less?"