Brexit negotiations reach disturbing deadlock
Daryl Jackson, News Editor
16 Oct 2017, 1 p.m.
Talks to take the UK out of the European Union have reached a ‘disturbing deadlock’ according to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Talks over what Britain owes for the divorce have not moved forward meaning that trade talks cannot start.
The EU’s Michel Barnier said:
“On this question we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it’s disturbing also for taxpayers”.
"I am not able in the current circumstances to propose next week to the European Council that we should start discussions on the future relationship."
UK Shooting Itself in the Foot
Brexit Secretary, David Davis, is still hopeful that the rest of the EU will allow talks about trade and the future to continue despite the lack of progress in talks on money. However, disturbingly, Britain doesn’t have much leverage beyond the threat to walk away with no deal. Many European politicians say that would be a massive act of self-harm.
German MEP Jakob Von Weizsacker said:
“Threatening to shoot yourself in your own foot – which is also bad for your neighbours who want you to do well and will also suffer as a result – I don’t think that is a terribly good idea.”
December is the next target for the UK and the EU to get trade talks underway properly.
As frustrations from both sides start to bubble, naturally questions are raised about the possibility of a ‘no deal’. When asked, Mr Davis, the UK’s Brexit secretary, stated that despite the UK aiming for an agreement the government ‘has to be ready for the alternatives. The UK is planning for all outcomes…however improbable. Wherever money needs to be spent it will be spent’. Mr Barnier went further, stating that a ‘no deal would be a very bad deal’ for Britain.
Sterling fell slightly against the euro as traders reacted to news of the ‘deadlock’.
The UK will ‘have to pay’ for Brexit trade talks.
Meanwhile, EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the UK will "have to pay" if Brexit negotiations are to progress to trade talks.
"The British are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems"
"That's the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought.
"We cannot find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned.
"As we are not able to do this we will not be able to say in the European Council in October that now we can move to the second phase of negotiations.
"They have to pay, they have to pay, not in an impossible way."