Andrew Turnbull, who led the civil service under Prime Minister Tony Blair, has accused hardline Brexiteers of using the tactics of “pre-emptive scapegoating” against government officials which he said remind him of what right-wing German nationalists were doing in the run up to WWII, the Guardian reported.
“It argued that ‘our great army was never defeated, but it was stabbed in the back by the civilians, liberals, communists, socialists and Jews’. This is what I think these critics are trying to do. They are losing the argument in the sense that they are unable to make their extravagant promises stack up, and so they turn and say: ‘Things would be OK if the civil service weren’t obstructing us,’” Turnbull said.
“When you don’t succeed, you find someone to blame for your failure,” he added.
On Friday, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads a European research group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, accused Treasury officials of deliberately attempting to frustrate Brexit by highlighting the downsides of a “hard” Brexit under which the UK would pull out from both the EU single market and customs union.
Prime Minister Theresa May is under fierce pressure to make her Brexit plans clearer ahead of next week’s talks between UK and EU negotiators in Brussels about their future relationship after Britain has left the EU.
Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis will be meeting with his EU colleague Michel Barnier in London on Monday for the first time since EU leaders gave him instructions to agree a post-Brexit transition to ease Britain's departure, the Guardian wrote.
The sides hope to strike a deal on the transition period in time for EU leaders to endorse it at their summit in Brussels in March.