The EU is to begin preparing for its post-Brexit trade negotiations with the UK, while refusing to discuss the matter with the British government. An internal draft document suggests the 27 EU countries should discuss trade among themselves while officials in Brussels prepare the details. However the draft text could yet be revised.
EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said a lack of compromise over the UK's financial commitments was impeding progress - saying they have to pay.
Speaking in Luxembourg, Mr Juncker used the analogy of someone covering the bill after ordering 28 beers at a bar to explain the EU's position - and added that the Brexit negotiating process was taking longer than expected.
He also dismissed the wrangling over citizens' rights - another sticking point - as nonsense, calling on the UK to adopt a common sense approach and say things will stay as they are after Brexit.
Downing Street said good progress was being made in the talks.
As the fifth round of talks ended in Brussels on Thursday, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there was deadlock over the UK's Brexit bill.
He said there had not been enough progress to move to the next stage of post-Brexit trade talks - as the UK had hoped - but added that he hoped for decisive progress by the time of the December summit of the European Council.
The draft paper submitted to the 27 EU states by European Council president Donald Tusk, suggests free trade talks could open in December - should Prime Minister Theresa May improve her offer on what the UK pays when it leaves.
The document calls for talks - about a transition period and the future relationship - to move to the next phase as soon as possible. The draft conclusions - to be put to EU leaders next Friday - also call for more concessions from the UK on its financial obligations and the rights of European nationals who wish to stay after Brexit.
The paper confirms Mr Barnier's assessment, that there has not been sufficient progress on three key elements of a withdrawal treaty for leaders to agree to open the trade talks now. But it says the leaders would welcome developments on these key issues: the rights of three million EU citizens in the UK, protecting peace in Northern Ireland from the effect of a new border and Britain's outstanding financial obligations.