On June 18th 2017 the Tory Brexit minister David Davis was on the Robert Peston Show belligerently insisting that the UK would get the EU to abandon their formally adopted negotiating position and agree to parallel negotiations on a trade deal while the separation agreement, citizens rights and Irish border issues were still being sorted out. He said he was going to make his demand for parallel talks “the fight of the summer”.
On June 19th 2017 the Tory Brexit minister David Davis completely abandoned this “fight of the summer” posturing and immediately agreed with the EU position that the separation agreement, citizens rights and Irish border issues come first before the trade deal talks can begin (you can see what was agreed here).
There are two possible conclusions:
1. David Davis knew he had no chance of getting the EU to agree with parallel trade talks, but he decided (for some utterly bizarre reason) to keep lying to the British public that it was a possibility right up until the very last minute.
2. David Davis was delusional enough to actually believe that he was going to convince the EU to abandon their negotiating position (that has been ratified by all 27 remaining member states) and talk trade deals before the separation agreement, citizens rights and Irish border issues are dealt with, but then collapsed like wet cardboard on the very first day of negotiations.
Davis is either guilty of deliberately misleading the British public yesterday, or being such a weak negotiator that he abandoned his starting position on the first day of talks today.
Either of these explanations should be deeply unsatisfactory to all British people whether they believe that Brexit is a good idea or not.