The fallout from last week's Brexit Dinner continues. The emerging stories are as diverse as its attendants. While Theresa May has played down reports of what some have termed a "disastrous dinner" calling it mere Brussels gossip, the European media and political sources have made no secret of the pessimistic mood of attendants, most of all Jean-Claude Juncker. The differences are fundamental, regardless of what Theresa May may say.

Juncker is said to have phoned Angela Merkel at 7.30am the next day, confessing that he was "ten times more pessimistic" about the prospect of successful negotiations.

Sources have also outlined how Juncker believes Theresa May is "deluded" and resides in a "different galaxy".

Appearances can be deceiving

Juncker and May emerged from the dinner cordially, however, a report in Sunday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine has made it impossible for May to deny the gravity of the task ahead.The one-page spread described the fraught dinner proceedings in detail and confirmed what many have feared for a long time: little agreement and vast differences in the main Brexit points up for discussion. For starters, Theresa May wishes to discuss trade agreements first, while Juncker and the 27 remaining members of the EU want to deal with the cost of the divorce first.

Secondly, May wants to hold discussions behind closed doors, something for which there is clearly no appetite among EU leaders. Thirdly, the speed of negotiations: May believes agreement on EU citizens living in Britan and British citizens living in Europe could be reached within weeks. Outraged at such expectations, Juncker supposedly presented May with a ultra-heavy dossier dealing with similar issues in relation to Croatia.

The dinner was hardly, what May described as "constructive". If anything, the dinner itself and the subsequent fallout have emphasised the tough stance taken by both sides.

Spinning it to her advantage - Theresa May uses dinner fallout as campaign tool

Despite having played down the obvious tensions at the dinner, Theresa May has since tried to use these difficulties as a campaign tool, stating that the negotiations were indeed going to be "tough" and asking for a strong mandate to strengthen her position.

In response, Jeremy Corbyn emphasised the need to focus on common ground rather than seek confrontation, while the Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, accused May of arrogance and complacency.

Having the cake and eating it

The question remains whether Britain can maintain the advantages of strong trade links with the EU while opting out of the obligations of membership. While May repeatedly may have said, "let us make Brexit a success", Juncker simply countered "Brexit cannot be a success".