Belfast Telegraph

Brexit paper media leak regrettable, says Coveney

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

By Ed Carty

The Irish Government has stopped circulating sensitive reports on how the UK Government is handling Brexit negotiations after one was leaked in November.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said it was embarrassing for some of those named in the confidential and scathing briefing paper compiled by ambassadors and embassy staff across Europe.

It was the first of 40 such secret weekly summaries to have been made public.

"It's very disappointing and regrettable that a recipient of the summary would have leaked it to a journalist," Mr Coveney said.

None of the briefing papers have been circulated across government departments since November 23 as a result of the leak.

The internal Irish Government paper was obtained by RTE News and branded the UK performance in Brexit talks as chaotic and incoherent.

It was dated between November 6 and 10 and it gave scathing assessments of key Cabinet members such as Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Mr Coveney said the secretary general of his department was investigating the leak.

All the recipients of the supposedly secret document have been contacted in the investigation, he told the Dail parliament.

"This weekly summary should not have been leaked. It was embarrassing for some of the people who are named in it," he said.

Mr Coveney said a distribution list for the sensitive documents has been cancelled until there are assurances that a repeat leak will not happen.

Belfast Telegraph


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