European Union officials have refused to release details of a secretive talk held between themselves, George Soros and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The former Prime Minister met with the European Commission’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans and the bloc’s tax and finance chief Pierre Moscovici with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union said to have been on the agenda for discussion each time.
The billionaire Hungarian, George Soros, who has contributed a large amount to help fund anti-Brexit groups, also met Mr Moscovici at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
The Express today reported that details of the French commissioner’s meetings with Mr Blair and Mr Soros, have been noted in a document titled “Quick readout of a day and a half of sub-zero speed-dating in Davos”, have been heavily redacted by Brussels officials.
In a “readout” of Mr Moscovici’s discussions, meant for his most senior aides, the meeting is described as talks with “Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a ‘People’s Vote’.”
The next six lines of the document, which has now been released to the public, reveal the finer details of discussions have been blocked out by officials.
A Commission spokesman claimed the full details of the meetings could be damaging to “the institution’s decision-making process”.
They continued: “We have looked into the text carefully and did not assess that there would be an overriding public interest in disclosure of this parts of the document.”
In order to protect the European Union, officials can refuse access to documents because “certain public and private interests should be protected by way of exceptions”.
The regulation states: “The institutions should be entitled to protect their internal consultations and deliberations where necessary to safeguard their ability to carry out their tasks.
“In assessing the exceptions, the institutions should take account of the principles in Community legislation concerning the protection of personal data, in all areas of Union activities.”
European officials have before refused to release details of meetings between Mr Blair’s ‘Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’ and Mr Timmerman in Brussels last November.
They claimed that no minutes had been taken during the meeting saying the “European Commission does not hold any documents” corresponding to the meeting.
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