A senior aide to Jean-Claude Juncker has denied leaking details of a private dinner between the EU commission president and Theresa May.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported the prime minister “begged for help” on Brexit, seemed “anxious” and “tormented” as well as “despondent and discouraged”.
May’s former chief of staff, Nick Timothy, has blamed Martin Selmayr, Juncker’s chief of staff, for the leak.
The dinner was held last Monday ahead of the EU summit in Brussels.
At the meeting EU leaders said they would begin scoping work on future trade talks while making clear to May that she must make more concessions on Britain’s divorce payment for negotiations to progress.
Earlier this year, Selmayr was accused of leaking to FAZ details of a private dinner between May and Juncker at 10 Downing Street, which the Commission president was said to have left “10 times more sceptical” than when he arrived.
Liam Fox has said Brexit talks on a future trade relationship will only be complicated if the EU decides to “punish Britain for having the audacity”.
The international trade secretary yesterday warned Brussels to put the prosperity of EU citizens ahead of any desire to make the UK pay a price for quitting the bloc, and sign a mutually beneficial trade agreement.
But Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, warned that “intransigence” from Theresa May has left Britain “heading for no deal”.