Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Brexit Negotiations Stall: Not Enough Progress in Trade Talks

Theresa May was speaking in Estonia where an informal meeting of EU leaders is taking place Theresa May was speaking in Estonia where an informal meeting of EU leaders is taking place
Lance Thomas | 30 September, 2017, 00:39

"At the end of this week I am saying that that there will be no sufficient progress from now until October unless miracles would happen", he told reporters at the summit in Tallinn.

Mr Davis pursued a more combative tone than his boss and his team didn't go far enough to clarify the concessions Mrs May offered in the speech, according to the person, who asked not to be named as the discussions were private.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been hoping to use an informal European Union meeting in the Estonian capital Tallinn to harness what she describes as renewed goodwill over Brexit to push the talks beyond the terms of the divorce, now just 18 months away.

The statement followed the end of the fourth round of UK-EU Brexit negotiations on Thursday, at which the UK and EU reportedly made "some progress" on the EU citizens issue. The frustration runs both ways, according to people familiar with the United Kingdom position, as Barnier hasn't told the British what qualifies as enough progress.

Mrs May's cabinet is divided on Brexit, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has made his opposition to her policy plain. Speaking in Talinn on Friday, she repeated her hope that the speech would give the talks momentum, which she hoped would be reciprocated in Brussels.

Mr Johnson and Mr Davis often top the list as May replacements.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, insisted that Britain would have to pay all its share of money earmarked for European funds after Brexit.

She said: "Today we can say the negotiations are a bit behind schedule..."

Brexit Negotiations Stall: Not Enough Progress in Trade Talks
Brexit Negotiations Stall: Not Enough Progress in Trade Talks

"Backstabbing, betrayal, noble families fighting for power".

The Lithuanian president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, said May's Florence speech had provide "a bit more clarity" but that both sides had to accept that the negotiations were "out of shape".

"It's positive that Theresa May's speech made it possible to unblock the situation to some extent and give a new dynamic", Mr Barnier said at a news conference Thursday, adding that "useful" talks were had on the contentious subject of the bill.

British officials are eager for negotiations to move on to discussions about the UK's future relationship with the European Union - but speaking at the same summit, Mr Juncker said it would take a "miracle" for Brussels to agree to proceed to the next phase.

Britain now has 800 troops stationed in Estonia and leads the battlegroup which forms part of Nato's "enhanced forward presence" in eastern Europe created to deter Russian aggression.

Brussels has long demanded sufficient progress on its financial settlement, citizens' rights and the Irish border before it fulfils the UK's wish to move on to talks about trade.

The major sticking point remains the post-Brexit role of the European Court of Justice.

"Boris will be one of those Cabinet ministers pushing to make sure we don't have any new European Union rules and regulations during the transition", a cabinet source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

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