British Prime Minister Theresa May's office will hold regular briefings with foreign journalists from early next year to counter "misreporting" about its plans for Brexit, a spokeswoman said today. Officials already update members of the foreign press ahead of international summits and some major events, but this will become a regular feature as Britain prepares to begin the formal negotiations on leaving the European Union by the end of March. "It's about directly engaging with them, being able to directly counter misreporting," a spokeswoman for May's Downing Street office told AFP. Confirming it would happen before Britain triggers Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon treaty, beginning the two-year exit process, she added: "It's not unprecedented.
We already do it on an ad-hoc basis." The government has repeatedly said it will not give a "running commentary" on its negotiating strategy for Brexit, but the absence of any clear position has forced many observers to rely on speculation and reports in Britain's largely eurosceptic press. Brexit minister David Davis defended the government's approach today, telling lawmakers that "the probable success of the negotiations depend very greatly on us being able to manage the information and keep what needs to be secret until the last minute secret".
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