Johnson calls for European Union 'urgency' over stalled Brexit talks
Oct 12 2017 by Johnny Bowman
The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier earlier said the talks had hit a dead-end over money and ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start next week. "We have reached a deadlock", Mr Barnier told reporters in Brussels at the end of the fifth round of talks.
Brexit talks have made little progress, the European Union's negotiator said on Thursday, meaning he can not yet recommend broadening the negotiations beyond the focus on the terms of Britain's exit to include key issues such as future trade relations.
"Regarding that question we are at an impasse, which is very worrying for thousands of projects everywhere in Europe and also worrying for those who contribute", he said.
A worst-case Brexit scenario could see all air traffic between the United Kingdom and the European Union grounded the day after Britain leaves the bloc on 29 March, 2019, the country's Chancellor said on Wednesday (11 October).
Nonetheless, Mr Barnier told a news conference, there was some movement on other elements of Britain's divorce settlement and he spoke of possibly acceding in the next two months to British demands for talks on a trade pact and a transition period after withdrawal in March 2019 - if the political will was there.
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However, Theresa May has held firm on her position that the United Kingdom will honour its commitments only once it secures assurances from Brussels over the breadth and nature of a future partnership.
He said the European Union and United Kingdom were trapped in a "deadlock" over the question of Britain's financial contribution. However, several member states oppose this. In what is increasingly heading into a game of brinkmanship, Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "I make no secret of the fact that to provide certainty, we must talk about the future".
"But today I can confirm that we want to reassure those European citizens living in the United Kingdom that their rights and status will be enshrined in UK law by the Withdrawal Agreement", Davis added.
European Union leaders will come back to the issue on their December summit, and could decide that the "sufficient progress" threshold has been reached.
The issue of citizens' rights is one of the main issues to be dealt with during the negotiations, together with the land borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as Gibraltar and Spain, plus immigration control and access to the European single market.