The European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says he is planning for the possible collapse of Brexit negotiations with the UK. Barnier was talking to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues.6 comments
Brexit negotiations should accelerate over the months to come, says a joint statement from the UK prime minister and the president of the EU Commission. Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker met in Brussels on Monday for a dinner they called constructive and friendly.
The European Union's chief negotiator on Brexit talks says negotiations with the United Kingdom are stuck in a state of deadlock. The EU wants to know what divorce bill Britain is prepared to pay before talks go any further. British officials, on the other hand, want to begin trade talks now, before they commit billions.
The EU and Britain resumed Brexit talks on Monday with fresh clashes, dimming hopes that a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May could provide a breakthrough in unlocking stalled negotiations. The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier insisted that he would not discuss May's call for a two-year post-exit transition deal until there was progress on key issues, including Britain's divorce bill.
Business leaders have voiced concern about the slow pace of Brexit negotiations, warning it could affect a constructive exit from the EU. BusinessEurope, an umbrella group representing business federations across Europe, said companies needed certainty and time to prepare for future arrangements.
The next round of Brexit talks has been postponed by a week to allow more time for consultation. The fourth round of UK-EU negotiations, due to begin on 18 September, will start on the 25th instead.
A row over the Brexit divorce bill has dominated the latest round of talks between the UK and the European Union, with both sides in the Brussels negotiations voicing their frustrations. Brexit Secretary David Davis said there had been a “tough” discussion over the fee Brussels wants the UK to pay to settle its obligations after British officials challenged the legal basis of the demand.
The UK has been told by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator that it needs to take withdrawal talks “seriously”. Michel Barnier used the opening of a third round of talks in Brussels on Monday to insist that London must end “ambiguity” regarding key positions like the Brexit divorce bill.
Brexit Secretary David Davis is heading for a Brussels showdown, with a demand for the European Commission to be more “flexible” in negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. With the third round of formal talks beginning on Bank Holiday Monday in the Belgian capital, Davis is pushing for EU negotiator Michel Barnier to be less rigid in his refusal to discuss the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and Europe.
Philip Hammond has been backed by former Tory leader Lord Hague amid ongoing Cabinet tensions about the approach to Brexit. The ex-foreign secretary said the Chancellor deserves credit for pushing for a transitional deal which preserves close ties to Brussels, giving time for a new trading relationship to be established and avoiding turning Brexit into a disaster.