2nd Round of Brexit Talks Fails to Produce Breakthrough on Key Disputes

Business | July 20, 2017, Thursday // 15:11
Bulgaria: 2nd Round of Brexit Talks Fails to Produce Breakthrough on Key Disputes pixabay.com

The second round of the Brexit talks have failed to produce a breakthrough on key disputes with the UK, the EU’s chief negotiator has said, according to The Independent.co.uk.

Michel Barnier said the British Government was still failing to provide sufficient “convergence” on either the UK’s exit bill or the future rights of citizens.

Mr Barnier said the EU would not give way on its insistence that the rights of citizens should be guaranteed by the European Court of Justice – an apparent red line for the UK.

Warning there was a “fundamental divergence”, he told a Brussels press conference: “Citizens must be able to identify the legal certainty that they need for their day-to-day lives.”

The talks would not move onto future trade – Britain’s priority – until the UK had provided the “clarification needed” on both citizens and the so-called “divorce bill”, he made clear.

Mr Barnier also said the UK must clarify, in the next session, how it intends to maintain the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland after leaving the EU.

Laying bare his frustration that the UK was not accepting its “accounts must be settled,” he added: “As soon as the UK is ready to clarify the nature of its commitments, we will be prepared to discuss this with the British negotiators.”

And, making clear the EU would not give way in the negotiations until the UK accepted its financial obligations, he said: “I know one has to compromise in negotiations but we are not there yet.

“That's the financial settlement, let's be very clear. We want clarity on that because we need to be able work more until we come to areas of compromise.”

Alongside him, David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, sent out a conciliatory message on the exit bill, insisting both the UK and EU “recognise the importance of sorting out responsibilities we have to each other”.

And he denied there was any dispute in the Cabinet over whether crashing out of the EU with no deal in 2019 would be a disaster for Britain.

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Tags: Brexit, talks, UK, Michel Barnier, EU
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