European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed on Tuesday that negotiations about a future EU-UK trading relationship after Britain leaves the European Union could only start once divorce issues were resolved. Ciara Lee reports
(REUTERS AND EBS) – Sort the divorce and then we’ll talk trade.
Another clear message from the EU to Britain.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER,
“It has to be crystal clear that we will commence no negotiations on the next step, by that I mean about the new relationship – notably the economic and trade relationship – between the United Kingdom and Europe before the resolution of all the questions related to Article 50.”
Britain and the European Commission are holding a third round of talks this week.
The EU says it must focus on the rights of EU and British citizens living abroad
A financial settlement
And the Northern Ireland border.
The European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said he’s concerned by the slow progress of Brexit talks.
While his British counterpart David Davis insists they must push on.
BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY OF STATE, DAVID DAVIS,
“We want to lock in the points where we agree, unpick the areas where we disagree, and make further progress on the whole range of issues. But in order to do that, we’ll require flexibility and imagination from both sides – something I think the Council asked for on some subjects.”
One key point of contention – London wants to break free from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
But the EU needs the ECJ to police the divorce.
Money is seen by both sides as the hardest nut to crack for now.
The EU has floated a divorce bill of around 60 billion euros – to be paid by Britain.
The bloc wants agree on a formula to calculate that figure before any post-Brexit arrangements are even discussed.