Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress

British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress

With David Davis, we will organise several negotiating meetings between now and the end of the year " Of the overall talks this week, which included some advance on citizens' rights and technical progress in addressing issues in Ireland, Barnier added: "We worked in a constructive spirit, and we clarified certain points, without, however, making any great steps forward".

'On this question we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it's disturbing also for taxpayers'.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier earlier said the talks had hit a dead-end over money and ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start next week.

The leaders meet in Brussels on October 19-20, and with time short to seal a deal it had been hoped they would agree to widen the talks.

Despite Barnier's assessment of insufficient progress, Davis said the United Kingdom would still like European Union leaders next week to give a mandate to Barnier to "broaden the negotiation" and begin talks on the two-year transition period proposed by May in Florence.

Barnier told the news conference that he would follow a mandate ruling out any discussion of the future before issues arising from Britain's past membership are settled and said it was important to respect the "sequencing".

Both sides have now given up on the United Kingdom making "sufficient progress" to move to trade talks by the European Council summit in October, with Mr Barnier suggesting the milestone could be reached by December with constructive effort on both sides. It's up to them whether they do it.

Barnier said the two sides would work to achieve "sufficient progress" in time for a subsequent meeting of European Union leaders in December. The pound traded down by as much as 0.6 percent against the euro after Barnier spoke.

However, Theresa May has held firm on her position that the United Kingdom will honour its commitments only once it secures assurances from Brussels over the breadth and nature of a future partnership. "There have therefore been no negotiations on this subject". But, Barnier warned, "no deal would be a very bad deal". "To be clear, on our side, we will be ready to face any eventualities, and all the eventualities", he said.

The European Union said talks hit a wall over what the United Kingdom owes when it leaves, increasing the chances of a messy departure as time is running out to clinch a deal.

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