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Principale » British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress

British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress

12 Octobre 2017

As the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, himself said: "No great steps forward" are apparent from this week's negotiations.

Brexit talks are deadlocked over money, the EU's Michel Barnier says as he rules out discussions on future trade being launched by European Union leaders next week but spoke of possible progress by December.

May said Britain would ensure the other 27 countries did not lose out financially from Brexit in the current European Union budget period to 2020 and would honour commitments - but Barnier said London was failing to spell out just what it was ready to pay.

Speaking a mix of French and English, Barnier said the "constructive" talks had clarified some points but there had not been any "great steps forward" on central issues.

Barnier told journalists in a joint press conference with UK Brexit minister David Davis that talks on the financial settlement had only been technical this week, and the UK has not spelled out what earlier commitments it would pay for.

"There is a new momentum and I remain convinced today, with the political will, decisive progress is within our grasp within the next two months", he said.

So, while today's round was previously billed as a potential breakthrough moment that would see discussions open on the future UK-EU relationship, few were holding out hope for that today.

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He also warned against the possibility of a so-called "hard Brexit" after May admitted this week that her government was setting aside money for a "no-deal scenario".

Barnier described the stalemate as "very disturbing" and added that he was advising leaders that not enough progress had been made to move on to trade negotiations.

- Deal or no deal?

"I hope the member states will recognise the progress we've made and take a step forward in the spirit of the prime minister's Florence speech", Davis said, adding that it was "in the interests of Europe and the United Kingdom".

The EU is negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the bloc in good faith and is not working on a scenario where there is no agreement on the separation, Reuters quoted European Council President Donald Tusk as saying on Tuesday.

Tusk also ruled out the possibility of moving onto the trade talks phase at the October 19 summit, though he said he hoped to be able to by the next summit in December.

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.

British PM May says Brexit talks making good progress