British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress

12 October, 2017, 22:09 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Theresa May

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that very little progress had been made.

Addressing a crowd of Nottingham Trent University students, Ms Soubry described Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "more of a Brexiteer than anyone in our party" and urged the crowd not to vote Labour if they wanted to remain in the EU.

British and EU negotiators hit a dead-end over money in four days of talks, the European Union's Michel Barnier said on Thursday as he ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start by EU leaders next week.

'We are continuing to work on the specific instruments and mechanisms which would give practical effect to this intention, ' he said.

A fifth round of negotiations broke up earlier in the day without major progress, fuelling fears that Britain will leave the bloc in March 2019 without an agreement to soften the blow.

"There's no question of making concessions on citizens rights, there's no question of making concessions on the peace process in Ireland, and as regards to the financial settlement, there's no question of making concessions on thousands of projects throughout Europe". Many businesses are anxious that Britain could leave the EU without a trade deal in place, which would mean tariffs on exports from both sides, reams of red tape and chaos at European ports. The pound traded down by as much as 0.6 percent against the euro after Barnier spoke.

European estimates on the size of the divorce bill have varied from around 60 billion euros to 100 billion euros ($70 billion to $120 billion), but British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government has rejected such numbers without clearly explaining how the amount should be calculated.

However, that commitment has not yet been spelled out by United Kingdom negotiators. "There have therefore been no negotiations on this subject".

Mr Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence on Sept 22, the British positions on money, expatriate citizens' rights and the Irish border still fell short of the "significant progress " set as a condition for opening the trade negotiations. "We're looking for some urgency from our friends and partners, and it's time to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done".

"No deal will be a very bad deal, huh?"

Hammond is considered one of the most pro-EU members of May's cabinet and pro-Brexit lawmakers and campaigners have accused him of trying to water down or even halt Britain's exit.

The next milestone for talks to advance to trade is the December 14 summit of European Union leaders.

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