European Commission denies Tony Blair meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker is conspiracy to undermine Brexit

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The European Commission has denied a meeting between Tony Blair and Jean-Claude Juncker is a conspiracy to undermine Brexit.

News of a planned head-to-head next week between the two passionate pro-Europeans came on Friday, immediately raising questions of timing as it will clash with official Brexit talks between UK and EU diplomats.

But Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein insisted: “There is no conspiracy.”

He said former Luxembourg premier Mr Juncker, now president of the Commission, kept in close contact with many leaders and former leaders from all over the world, and had a particularly close relationship with the former British prime minister because they led their countries at the same time.

Jean-Claude Juncker: The former Luxembourg PM is now president of the European Commission (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Mr Winterstein said of Juncker: “After all he was a prime minister for 20 years and Tony Blair is one of these peers.

“There are good friends. They have known each other for a very long time. Tony Blair was here last year, was here the year before. This is absolutely nothing out of the extraordinary.”

The spokesman went on to claim there was no “written agenda” for the meeting but he expected they would discuss range of issues including European economics and politics. He did not specifically reference Brexit.

They will meet on Thursday the EU Commission’s headquarters in Brussels. It coincides with the final day in the third round of official talks between British and EU diplomats hoping to thrash out a Brexit deal.

Mr Blair has previously said he feels so “passionate” about blocking a hard Brexit that he would consider returning to frontline politics to stop it.

He later insisted it was “absolutely necessary” that Brexit does not happen because of the “damage” the Leave vote is already causing the UK.

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