Agnes Poirer, a French correspondent for Marianne, mocked the British Government’s botched attempt to charm German business leaders as they attempt to push back against the EU.

The three-day trip to win over German support in the negotiation room took place in the middle of the country’s frantic coalition talks. 

While nearly all politicians were consumed by the coalition news, Phillip Hammond and David Davis held meetings with Germany’s business leaders.

However, the German leaders hit out at the British cabinet minsiters during the trip for not doing more to clarify their position on Brexit. 

Mr Hammond also sparked a backlash when he told the German press that EU leaders were “paranoid” and “backward-looking”.

An anchor on BBC Dateline asked the panel whether “anyone was even listening during the charm offensive”. 

Mrs Poirer said: “They were quite busy in Germany this week with the coalition talks. I don’t know why on earth they chose this week.

“And if it was meant to be a charm offensive – that was a hell of a charm offensive.

“They ended up telling the German papers that the EU was punishing the UK, that they were paranoid and backward-looking.”

The London-based journalist added: “While Britain asked German business what they want out of the deal, the Germans just asked them the same question right back. One day its the Norweigen deal, another it’s Canada-plus-plus-plus.

“Barnier has already said Britain will lose its passporting rights so I don’t know the point of this.”

Fellow panellist, Adam Raphael, agreed with the French journalist’s analysis, saying his country was “in an utter mess”. 

During the trip, the Chancellor said Brussels had to let go of the idea of punishing Britain for voting to leave the bloc

Mr Hammond told EU leaders that they should be clear on the future relationship they want with the UK since “it takes two to tango”.

Daily Express

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