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Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says there has been ‘no decisive progress’ on key issues in the latest round of Brexit talks.
In a joint press conference following the end of the third round of talks in Brussels Barnier said the negotiations were still ‘quite far’ away from being in a position to move on to talk about a future relationship or any trade deals.
He said no decisive progress had been made on key issues such as; the so called ‘divorce bill, citizens’ rights and the Irish border, all of which the EU wants to have made ‘sufficient progress’ on before moving on to discussing a future relationship and trade deals.
“How can we build trust and start discussing the future relationship? We have to address these things together seriously,” said Barnier
“At the current state of progress we are quite far from being able to say that sufficient progress has taken place.”
The UK was hoping to move on to talk about our relationship and trade deal with the EU after Brexit in the next round of talks in October but it seems the EU wants to progress with its key issues before any such talks will take place.
Barnier added that the details of the UK’s Brexit plan in papers recently released by the government were simply not possible and that no country outside of the single market could shape the markets regulations.
“The UK wants to take back control, wants to adopt its own standards and regulations – but it also wants to have these standards recognised automatically in the EU,” he said.
“That is what UK papers ask for. This is simply impossible. You cannot be outside the single market and shape its legal order.”
However UK Brexit secretary David Davis said that ‘concrete progress’ had been made.
“This week we have had long and detailed discussions across multiple areas and I think it’s fair to say we have seen some concrete progress, and Michel referred to one but there’s more than that,” he said.
“However, as I said at the start of the week, it’s only through flexibility and imagination that we will achieve a deal that works truly for both sides.
“In some areas we have found this from the Commission’s side, which I welcome, but there remains some way to go.”