EU's Verhofstadt talks state of Brexit discussions with European Parliament

by Abel Hampton August 31, 2017, 5:29
EU's Verhofstadt talks state of Brexit discussions with European Parliament

Verhofstadt said that the separation was rapidly approaching an "any deal is better than no deal" situation as a "no deal" on Brexit was no longer an option for either party.

"The lack of detailed and workable proposals in the position papers the United Kingdom has produced, and the failure to advance the talks owing to the disagreement over money, mean that that the U.K.is losing the limited ability it had to shape the transitional arrangements", J.P.Morgan analyst Malcolm Barr said in a note.

His comments came after Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was concerned about the lack of clarity and insisted "we must start negotiating seriously".

Despite his stern warnings as the third round of negotiations started on Monday, Mr Barnier yesterday hinted at compromise if Britain provides more detail about its position.

A source familiar with the UK's negotiating position said: 'Nobody would write a cheque on the basis of the Commission's four-page paper'. "We think this is an important deal for the European Union", she said.

"I think we will give businesses certainty, which is what business wants at the point at which we leave". "We're ready to roll up our sleeves and get back to work once more", he said.

Downing Street said further position papers will be published next week and defended the UK's approach to the talks. Mrs May was speaking from Japan, where has been meeting this week with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the hope of laying the ground for a free trade deal after Brexit.

The EU has repeatedly said that it will not discuss trade issues with the UK until it has resolved key issues such as the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK post-Brexit and the rights of UK citizens living in the EU.

As negotiators struggle for common ground, the clock is ticking down to a mid-October deadline when Britain has to satisfy European Union leaders that it has done enough for talks to move on to trade.

The European Parliament has an oversight role in the negotiations and crucially must approve any final Brexit accord.

Guy Verhofstadt said moving to trade talks in October as hoped by the United Kingdom appears increasingly unlikely.

Despite this, several issues remain disputed, including the role of the European Court of Justice.

Mr Davis arrived in Brussels last night to tie off this week's discussions and is expected to stand alongside Mr Barnier at a press conference today.

"If it goes very slow, as is the case at the moment, it will be very hard to say there is sufficient progress when we are in October", Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, told EU lawmakers in Brussels on Wednesday.


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