Brexit talks in ′deadlock′ as divorce negotiations flounder | News | DW

Following four days of talks between EU and British negotiators, the two sides are in a “state of deadlock” after the UK failed to provide specifics on the so-called Brexit bill, Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday at a joint press conference with his British counterpart.

EU officials have estimated the UK’s financial commitments to the bloc’s programs at up to €100 billion euros ($118.5 billion), while British media have reported that London will likely cap the amount at €40 billion ($47.50 billion), a figure Brussels is unlikely to accept.

‘No negotiations’ on divorce bill

Although British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK would ensure that the EU does not lose out financially from Brexit during a September speech in Florence, Barnier said London has yet to specify elements of its divorce settlement.

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“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.”

‘No secret’

Brussels has made clear on several occasions that it would not move forward with post-Brexit talks until there is “sufficient progress” on three key issues, including EU citizens’ rights, the questions of the Irish border and a financial settlement.

But British Brexit Minister David Davis said Thursday that while more work needs to be done, he was confident an agreement on EU citizens’ rights could be made in the near future. Davis has pushed for EU leaders to give Barnier the “means to explore ways” on their future relationship.

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“I make no secret of the fact that to provide certainty we must talk about the future,” Davis said. “As we look to the October [European] Council next week, I hope the [EU] member states will recognize the progress we’ve made and take a step forward in the spirit of the prime minister’s Florence speech.”

‘EU Super Girl’

During the press conference, security removed British singer and anti-Brexit activist Madeleina Kay, who sat front row in a “EU Super Girl” costume. “I had every right to be there,” Kay wrote in a tweet. “I had a pass and badges. They were just scared of a fancy dress costume.”

The UK is the first country to launch proceedings to leave the EU after a majority of British citizens voted in favor of a formal divorce from the bloc.

ls/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)