February 26, 2018

EU Parliament dissatisfied with Brexit talks progress

06 October 2017, 12:39 | Kara Nash

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British government ministers on Tuesday presented an upbeat picture of the United Kingdom's prospects outside the European Union, as European lawmakers said too little headway had been made in Brexit talks to allow discussions to begin on a future trade deal with the United Kingdom.

However, he backed the verdict of the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier that more progress was needed on the issues of citizens' rights and the border with Ireland as well as the financial settlement, before they could move to a trade deal.

The minister gave his support to the EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator, the Frenchman Michel Barnier, supporting "entirely [Barnier's] approach.which consists in saying that until we have settled this problem.we can not move onto the other issues". Meanwhile the leaders of several London councils have taken the highly unusual step of writing to Michel Barnier to appeal to him directly to end the standoff over the role of the European Court of Justice in securing EU nationals' rights.

The Parliament approved a resolution that "sufficient progress has not yet been made" on citizens' rights, Irish relations and financial obligations to allow for the talks to incorporate a future trade and security relation, as Britain has been seeking.

The next EU Summit will take place in Brussels on the 20 October, but unless there is a "major breakthrough" the Brexit negotiations will not move onto the second phase - discussing future trade deals.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, France, will vote on a resolution calling on European Union leaders to postpone a decision, scheduled for a summit on October 19, on whether to move on to the next phase of talks.

The resolution comes almost two weeks after UK Prime Minister Theresa May made a major speech on Brexit in Florence.

Davis says good progress is being made toward a deal, dismissing what he says are "lurid accounts" of crisis and breakdown.

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Barnier added that there was still "serious divergence" over the financial settlement, making it clear that taxpayers of the remaining 27 European Union countries should not have to pay more to facilitate Brexit.

Following the speeches, former Brexit minister David Jones told a pro-Brexit fringe meeting that the government could be "heading for no deal, through no fault of our own".

There has been no sufficient progress during the first stage of Brexit negotiations, according to the majority of MEPs.

However, it does make it very clear that the EU's only directly-elected body is unsatisfied with the talks so far, and will be a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May following her key Brexit speech in Florence, which was an attempt to break the deadlock.

Other points of contention include a reform of EU's labor rules, which France and some other western states say give unfair competitive advantage to cheap workers from the east.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private, senior officials now fear time could run out for the reach the "heads of agreement" on a future trade deal with the EU.

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