Brussels – Negotiators for the European Union and Britain are in a “state of deadlock” after Britain failed to provide specifics on a financial settlement during this week’s fifth round of Brexit talks, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says.
“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,” Barnier said.
He noted that British Prime Minister Theresa May had said during a speech last month that Britain would honour its financial commitments to the bloc.
Three key issues
“This week, however, the UK repeated that it was still not ready to spell out these commitments – therefore there have been no negotiations on this subject,” Barnier said.
“On this basis, I’m not able, in the current circumstances, to propose next week to the European Council that we should start discussions on a future relationship.”
Based on the initial plan for Brexit talks, EU leaders could approve moving on to negotiations about a future trade relationship at a summit next week if “sufficient progress” has been achieved on three key issues – citizens’ rights; a financial settlement; and the question of the Irish border.
Lack of progress
However, it became increasingly apparent during the last months that there was a lack of progress due to Britain’s reluctance to provide clarity and agree to terms on key issues that were acceptable to the EU.
Still, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Davis repeated his government’s demands for Brexit talks to include trade.
“To provide certainty, we must talk about our future,” Davis said. He urged EU leaders to “take a step forward” and broaden the current mandate for Brexit negotiations, something the other member states have rejected.