Why were two Dutch MPs at ‘cake and eat it’ Brexit meeting?

Photo: VVD.nl

Halbe Zijlstra. Photo: VVD.nl

VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke and parliamentary party leader Halbe Ziijlstra were in London on Monday having talks with Conservative party deputy chairman Mark Field, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.

The two Dutch MPs were caught on camera outside the Brexit department in Downing Street. The photographs hit the headlines because Field’s assistant Julia Dockerill was carrying notes apparently taken in the meeting in full view of the waiting press.

The notes appear to outline the British government’s tactics for the Brexit negotiations and include the phrase: What’s the model? Have cake and eat it.’




The British government has distanced itself from the notes, saying they not not represent government policy. ‘These individual notes do not belong to a government official or a special adviser. They do not reflect the government’s position in relation to Brexit negotiations,’ a spokesman for prime minister Theresa May said.

According to the Telegraaf, the two Dutch MPs have confirmed that they visited Downing Street, that they had a meeting with Field and that the assistant was also present. ‘But we will not comment on the substance of the talks,’ Ten Broeke, who specialises on foreign policy, told the paper.

According to the Guardian, Field’s role as vice-chairman of the Conservative party also includes liaising with sister centre-right parties in Europe.


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