Brussels chiefs ‘branded Dominic Raab turnip over his Brexit strategy’

Kate Proctor
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Brussels chiefs ‘branded Dominic Raab turnip over his Brexit strategy’

Tory leadership contender Dominic Raab was nicknamed “the turnip” by negotiators in Brussels who mocked his Brexit strategy, it was claimed today.

EU sources said Mr Raab, who held the post of Brexit secretary for five months, was not the fully briefed details man or tough negotiator he claims to be in campaign speeches.

“The Turnip”, a play on raap, the Dutch word for the vegetable, allegedly “chickened out” when confronted by Michel Barnier over threats he made about the Irish border in a “very tense” meeting, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Raab, a hard-Brexiter who has threatened to shut down Parliament to get Brexit through, is 100-1 on becoming the next Tory party leader according to two bookmakers.

The sources claimed Mr Raab allegedly “chickened out” when confronted by EU chief negotiator Mr Barnier over comments about the Irish border. Mr Raab has regularly given an account of this meeting as a sign that he stood up to Brussels.

One source said: “Raab never mentions that Barnier called his bluff. Barnier told Raab that he would tell the member states the UK wanted to blow up the negotiations and didn’t give a shit about the Irish border.”

The source added: “Raab backed down. He chickened out. Which shows he was a naive negotiator. You should never make a threat you are not able to back up.”

A spokesman for Mr Raab said: “Of course, Brussels says that. As Barnier and [Guy] Verhofstadt complained, it was Dominic who pushed them the hardest.”