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1) So Much For Theresa May’s Brexit Breakthrough
It was the worst kept secret in Brussels, but Michel Barnier has officially confirmed what we’ve known for months: there has not been “sufficient progress” in the Brexit talks to recommend the two sides begin trade negotiations.
The plan was for the discussions around citizens’ rights, the Northern Ireland border and the financial settlement to be virtually concluded after this week’s round of talks, allowing Barnier to tell the EU27 at a summit next week that trade deal talks could start from November.
It has been clear for quite some time this deadline was going to be missed, even with Theresa May attempting to jump start the talks with her Florence speech.
Barnier’s big reveal was somewhat scuppered earlier in the week by European Council President Donald Tusk, who said in a speech on Tuesday he believed “sufficient progress” could be achieved by December.
Judging by Barnier’s joint press conference with David Davis on Thursday morning, you might be forgiven for thinking it will be December 2018 before the talks move on.
Despite May’s promise to pay the UK’s budget commitments after March 2019, Barnier said of the financial settlement: “We have reached a state of deadlock, which is very disturbing.”
He also said: “The UK told us again that they were not prepared to specify these commitments.”
Davis stuck to the line that it is difficult for the UK to make specific commitments until the trade talks begin, saying: “We have made clear this can only …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK politics