October 23, 2017
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European Union

EU rules out 2nd phase of Brexit talks due to deadlock over divorce bill

Brussels, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- The European Union's chief negotiator for the United Kingdom's exit from the bloc on Thursday said that Brexit talks had reached a deadlock and that he would not recommend initiating the second phase of negotiations due to the lack of an agreement.

Michel Barnier said at a joint press conference with the UK's Brexit secretary, David Davis, that he was unable to recommend to EU leaders at an upcoming summit that sufficient progress had been made on the question of the so-called "divorce bill" to allow for a start to talks over future trade relations.

"On this question, we have entered a state of deadlock that is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters and very disturbing also for taxpayers," Barnier said of the UK's failure to spell out its financial commitments to the EU.

"I?m not able to propose to next week?s European council that we start discussions on the future relationship," Barnier added.

The press conference, which came at the end of the fifth round of negotiations, was scheduled to address the state of talks on key issues such as citizens' rights, the Irish border and the post-Brexit financial settlement between London and Brussels.

"We worked constructively this week. We clarified certain points, but without making any great steps forward," Barnier explained.

He said that the EU would not ask the UK to make any concessions, as the agreement they were working towards would not be built on concessions.

"In these complex and difficult negotiations, we have shared objectives, we have shared obligations, we have shared duties, and we will only succeed with shared solutions. That is our responsibility," he added.

Meanwhile, Davis said that the UK was "planning for all outcomes" _ including a scenario in which no deal would be reached _ adding that it was important to recognize the "significant progress" made since talks started in June.

"I remain convinced today that with political will, decisive progress is within our grasp in the next two months," he said.

Davis also asked EU leaders to broaden Barnier's mandate to help achieve progress.

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