Britain has called in an international war negotiator to counter growing hostility between Brussels and London over Brexit.
Ministers asked a leading US negotiator for help after he played a key role in ending the seemingly intractable 52 year-long war in Colombia, South America.
William Ury specialises in hostile and emotional conflicts and advises parties on how to turn the other side’s anger against them.
The Brexit war of words started to heat up between Theresa May and her EU counterparts over the past week.
A leaked report of a Downing Street dinner with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker suggested he accused Mrs May of living in “another galaxy”.
The Prime Minister responded by accusing EU diplomats of trying to affect the result of the British General Election.
On Saturday a spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union confirmed that officials had already held a meeting with Mr Ury.
The US negotiator is co-founder of Harvard’s programme on negotiation and is one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation and mediation.
Last year he was a member of the team who ended the civil war between the Colombian government and the Farc guerrilla force.
The author of Getting Past No and Getting to Yes has also worked on conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and in the former Soviet Union.
During the 1980s, he helped the United States and Soviet governments create nuclear crisis centres designed to avert an accidental nuclear war.