Britain, EU exchange volleys over progress of Brexit deal

Isaac Cain
October 12, 2017

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson said: "It is staggering that even the Prime Minister isn't convinced by the Government's approach to Brexit".

The U.K is increasingly anxious to move talks on to discussing future trade relations, but so far the European Union says there hasn't been "sufficient progress" on the major divorce terms - the size of the Brexit bill, the status of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and the rights of European Union citizens living in Britain and Britons living in other member states.

"So the ball is entirely in the United Kingdom court for the rest to happen", he said.

Schinas, the European Union spokesman, said "there has been so far no solution found on step one, which is the divorce proceedings".

"So the ball is entirely in the United Kingdom court for the rest to happen", he said.

He will meet with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and press the case for trade talks to begin.

Business groups have been eager for the government to confirm what will happen immediately after March 2019, when Britain formally leaves the EU.

May told British lawmakers that "there is a new dynamic in the negotiations" since her major Brexit speech in Florence, Italy, last month.

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Pressed again, Mrs May said: "I could say I would still vote Remain or I would vote Leave just to give you an answer to that question".

"We hear from London that the United Kingdom government is preparing for a "no deal" scenario". But they would be flying in the face not only of Barnier's advice, but also that of Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and the European Parliament.

The EU has been insistent that talks on trade can not begin until "sufficient progress" is has been made on the issues of the Irish border, citizens' rights, and Britain's financial obligations to the EU. MEPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion last week calling on the leaders to delay their decision until their next summit in December, owing partly to divisions in May's government.

However, May warned that it was "prudent" to prepare for a failure in the negotiations and revealed that the two new government white papers published today, which set out proposed new legislation on trade and customs after Brexit, contained steps to reduce disruption in the event of a "no deal".

Kristian Jensen said striking a deal "is not rocket science" and within reach "if the political will is there".

"Jeremy Hunt when I interviewed him at the Conference told he that he voted Remain in the referendum - he was a chief advocate of Remain - he said now he would vote for Brexit because he says George Osborne's economic predictions did not come true and he said he was fed up with the belligerent attitude of the European Commission".

May said it was "highly unlikely" that new rules would be brought in during an implementation period that the United Kingdom had not already agreed to before leaving.

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