Brexit deal LIVE: Barnier slams ‘Disturbing deadlock’ but REFUSES to make ANY concessions

Posted on Oct 12 2017 - 10:57am by admin

As the clock ticks down on Britain leaving the EU, the Government is keen to move discussions on to a future trade deal.

But Brussels negotiators have repeatedly warned they want concrete progress on EU citizens’ rights, the UK’s divorce payments and the Irish border before moving to the next stage.

Here is the latest news from the joint Brexit press conference between Mr Davis and Mr Barnier:

11:53am:

Both men have been asked about the prospect of a “no deal”.

Mr Davis insisted that the negotiations should lead to a good deal but admitted the Government needed to be prepared for no agreement.

Mr Barnier branded the prospect of no deal a bad one.

11:50am:

The Brexit Secretary admitted there was more work to do on Ireland but they had agreed to common undertakings to protect the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Davis said work still needed to be done on the future relationship and he hoped there could be quick progress on that.

11:47am:

David Davis said the UK and EU had not reached agreement on citizens’ rights enforcement but any withdrawal would be implemented into UK law.

He said there would be an administration process that was simple and cheap.

11:42am:

Mr Barnier said “decisive progress is within our grasp over the next two months”.

He said talks would continue, with the hope of a breakthrough by Christmas.

David Davis and Michel Barnier GETTY

David Davis and Michel Barnier give a Brexit update

11:39am:

Mr Barnier said the “deadlock” on payments was “disturbing”.

He said the EU was not able to start discussing the future relationship.

Mr Barnier said the EU needed “confidence and clarity” on its red lines.

He added there was “no question of making concessions” on any of the issues.

11:36am:

On citizens’ rights, he said the two sides were still divided on family reunification and the export of benefits.

he said any Eu citizen should be able to bring his parents to where he lived.

On Ireland, he said both sides had reached agreement on the common travel area but there was more work to do.

11:32am:

Mr Barnier has begun speaking saying talks had been “constructive” without “any great step forward”.

He said both sides “share the same objectives” but he stressed again the key objectives of payments, citizens’ rights and the Irish border.

11:25am:

The briefing has been delayed slightly by a pro-EU protester dressed as Supergirl.

She has just been removed from the conference room.

Michel BarnierGETTY

Michel Barnier previously made clear his frustrations

11:10am:

Ahead of the conference, Liam Fox has been speaking to the Commons about “positive” developments in future trade deals.

He said that a number of transitional trade deals between Britain and members of the Brussels bloc could kick in for a two-year transitional period after Brexit D-Day in March 2019.

And he says the government is working to confirm as many trade deals as possible over the next two years, provided other governments are willing to cooperate.

Mr Fox also said there was “no difference” between him and Chancellor Philip Hammond over paying out in case of no deal with Brussels.

10:55am:

The press conference to get underway in around 20 minutes.

It is unclear how much of an update the two men will be able to provide as there are reports that negotiations are still stuck.

One official told the Financial Times today that talks had reached a standstill with “no progress” at all. 

Theresa May assured MPs this week that contingency plans were being worked up in case the UK crashed out of the bloc with no deal in place.

That came despite warnings from under-fire Chancellor Philip Hammond that he was not prepared to spend vast amounts of money preparing for a “no deal” Brexit.

On Tuesday, European Council president Donald Tusk became the latest senior figure to warn the negotiations had not advanced sufficiently to move onto the second phase, including a new free trade deal.

Mr Barnier is due to brief the leaders of the other 27 EU member states on the state of the negotiations when they meet next week for a summit in the Belgian capital.

In her Florence speech, Mrs May sought to reassure other EU leaders that the UK would fully honour its outstanding obligations while continuing to pay into the EU budget during a proposed two-year transition.

However, there is frustration in Brussels that Mr Davis has so far been unwilling to put an actual figure on the divorce bill.

The Florence speech led to a more amicable atmosphere from the Brexit Secretary and his Mr Barnier at their last appearance together.

It followed a previous press conference was notable for its frosty nature, with Mr Barnier hitting out at Britain’s approach to talks.

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