US News 'More Beards Than Women': UK's Brexit Negotiating Team Slammed For Gender Disparity

15:40  19 june  2017
15:40  19 june  2017 Source:   Huffington Post UK

Brexit talks facing slight delay, David Davis reveals

  Brexit talks facing slight delay, David Davis reveals He also indicated “we will start down this process” by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the EU.The Brexit Secretary said the talks would take place that week, but not necessarily on the Monday due to the clash with the Queen’s Speech at Westminster.

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  'More Beards Than Women': UK's Brexit Negotiating Team Slammed For Gender Disparity

Brexit negotiations kicked off today, and it was quickly apparent that the men are very much in charge.

A snap of the UK’s team as they sat opposite their EU counterparts revealed a real lack of diversity amongst the negotiators, with all but one of the nine officials being white men.

Video: David Davis all smiles as Brexit talks begin in Brussels (ITN News)

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The only woman on the team is Catherine Webb, the Director of Market Access and Budget in the Brexit Department.

Varadkar to have his first meeting with British PM

  Varadkar to have his first meeting with British PM Today, just five days after his election as Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar travels to London to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May. The meeting takes place as formal EU-UK Brexit talks finally open in Brussels and fresh efforts begin in Belfast to restore the power-sharing government. Mrs May is also in the process of trying to complete a support deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to return her embattled Conservative government to power.This afternoon's talks will be dominated by the interlinked issues of Brexit and Northern Ireland. Mr Varadkar spoke by phone to Mrs May on Thursday.

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The EU’s team had a slightly greater gender balance, as of the seven core negotiators, two are women.

Twitter users were quick to comment on dominance of white men in the team, with one quipping:

One user tried to put a positive spin on the lack of woman:

The talks kicked off today in Brussels with a joint press conference between UK Brexit Secretary David Davis and the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

About heightened rhetoric leading up to the talks - including Theresa May claiming the EU had issued “threats” to the UK - Davis tried to strike a friendly tone.

Brexit Secretary David Davis shakes hands with the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier. © Getty Brexit Secretary David Davis shakes hands with the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

He said: “While there will undoubtedly be challenging times ahead of us in the negotiations we will do all that we can to ensure we deliver a deal that works in the best interests of all of our citizens.

“To that end we are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves, our European allies and friends.”

Mitchell O'Connor in diversity row let-off .
Mitchell O'Connor in diversity row let-offSources close to Varadkar said he does not intend speaking to Mitchell O'Connor about her claim the Government was "not leading by example" on diversity. The source said the ­Taoiseach "will let it pass" rather than rebuke the only minister he demoted in his Cabinet reshuffle.

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