11:50 GMT31 October 2020
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    EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has conducted discussions with former UK prime minister Tony Blair and controversial billionaire George Soros, about a second Brexit referendum - but the European Commission is trying to keep them secret.

    Moscovici, responsible for economic and financial affairs in the EU, met several politicians and business leaders at the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum meeting 22nd — 25th January in the Swiss Alps. Subsequently, the Commission released a summary — dubbed "a quick readout of a day and a half of sub-zero speed-dating in Davos" — of who he met and what they discussed.

    The document offers a number of intriguing nuggets of insider information — for instance, major investors see trade tensions between the US and EU "as main global risk", and consider Italy and Brexit the main risks in Europe, but are "rather upbeat" about Macron's "reform agenda".

    However, the email is redacted in some places — heavily so following the sentence "Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a 'People's Vote'", with six lines of text entirely blacked out.

    Redacted Portions of Moscovici's WEF Meeting Roundup
    Redacted Portions of Moscovici's WEF Meeting Roundup

    As premier Blair was extremely pro-EU — were it not for then-Chancellor Gordon Brown's entreaties, the UK would've joined the euro — and has been a vocal critic of Brexit, and advocate of a second referendum, since the June 2016 vote. Soros has likewise been a prominent opponent of the UK leaving the EU, and has donated millions to Best for Britain, a group aggressively pushing for a ‘People's Vote'.

    Conspiracy of Silence

    At an EU press conference 25th January, a Hungarian journalist asked about the specifics of the meeting, but a Commission spokesperson declined to comment "on the many contacts happening in Davos" — although claimed the Commission maintained "an unprecedented wave of transparency", by consistently disclosing when commissioners meet lobbyists.

    They added "everything is out in the light of the day for everyone to see and form an opinion" — but Moscovici's meetings with Blair and Soros aren't listed on the Commissioner's register of ‘meetings with organisations and self-employed individuals', three months after Forum event.

    In a letter issued 15th April, the Commission explained it was necessary to redact portions of the email due to various  exemptions — in particular, there was a risk of privacy violations, and damaging the institution's "decision-making process".

    "We have looked into the text carefully and did not assess there would be an overriding public interest in disclosure of this parts of the document," the letter concluded.

    Moscovici isn't the only Commissioner Blair has rendezvoused with in recent months — Vice President Frans Timmermans met with the former Prime Minister in November 2018 at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

    Nonetheless, the Commission claims to possess no documents relating to the meeting — no minutes, presentations, or even emails arranging the summit.


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    second referendum, Soros, Brexit, conspiracy, Brexit, World Economic Forum, European Union, Frans Timmermans, Tony Blair, George Soros, Europe, United Kingdom
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