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EU:s toppförhandlare varnar för möjliga förseningar av #Brexit-samtal

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Talks between Britain an the European Union on their future relationship are now less likely to start in October, the EU’s top negotiator has said, because of lack of progress on Brexit divorce issues so far, EU officials said, skriva jan Strupczewski och gabriela Baczynska.

The EU’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (avbildad) på onsdagen (26 juli) informerade ambassadörer från de 27 länder som kommer att vara kvar i EU efter att Storbritannien lämnar i mars 2019 om resultatet av juliomgången av de månatliga skilsmässosamtalen med London förra veckan.

“He said the likelihood of starting the future relationship talks in October appeared to be decreasing,” one EU official involved in the Brexit talks said.

Barnier had earlier hoped that sufficient progress on the key divorce issues — a financial settlement, citizens rights and a solution for a non-physical border between Northern Ireland and Ireland — could be made by October.

This would allow EU leaders to give their consent to starting talks with London on the main aspects of the relationship after Brexit — a discussion Britain is keen to start as soon as possible to provide more clarity to businesses.

But with no progress on the financial settlement except Britain’s general admission that it would owe the EU an unspecified amount, and little to no real progress on other issues, the odds of a future trade relationship discussion starting in two months are declining.

EU-tjänstemän sa att framstegen var svåra, inte för att Storbritannien hade oacceptabla krav, utan för att de inte hade någon ståndpunkt alls i många frågor.

Annons

“Barnier expressed concerns that sufficient progress in October looked difficult now. Mainly because Britain has no position on finances, but also because they don’t have positions on other issues as well,” a second EU official said.

“The more they drag on, the less time is left for the second phase and special relationship they want,” the second official said.

The EU’s rough estimate is that Britain may owe it around 60 billion euros after it leaves in various legal commitments London has made as a member of the bloc, but talks are to focus on the methodology of calculation rather than the sum itself.

“There has still been no kick-off on money, Britain still refuses to accept anything – either the methodology, or the sum. This blocs everything else, there won’t be any real progress over the next two months, clearly that won’t create grounds for opening phase two on trade,” a third EU diplomat said.

“On citizens’ acquired rights, it’s a mixed picture. We have a list of things we agree on, disagree on and are some way in between. But that at least allows us to negotiate,” the third official added.

Diplomater sa att på Irland har samtalen inte gått längre än att återge ståndpunkter som redan har presenterats offentligt.

“They have actually not discussed the Irish border in any detail, there were no technical talks at all,” a fourth official said.

Nästa samtalsrunda är planerad till slutet av augusti.

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