EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

The European Commission president's warning comes as the EU's 27 leaders prepare next week to begin internal discussions, without Britain, on trade after Brexit.

Talking to students in his home country of Luxembourg, he said that the British negotiators are discovering new problems day-to-day.

"We can not find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the United Kingdom are concerned".

Hammering the point, European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said in Luxembourg: "They have to pay".

Mr Juncker was speaking after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said talks on issues including the "divorce bill" had not made sufficient progress for him to be able to recommend moving on to the second phase of negotiations, covering trade.

In its strongest conclusion, it proposes that Barnier start working out internally - without negotiating with London - what will happen after Brexit.


Speaking about the financial settlement at a press conference in Brussels alongside UK Brexit Secertary David Davis on Thursday, 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".

The British government is under pressure from euroskeptic lawmakers to increase planning for a "no deal" Brexit, in which the United Kingdom leaves the bloc without a trade agreement. It would give huge and unaccountable power to ministers and puts vital rights and protections at risk.

Meanwhile, an aide to the Treasury's ministerial team dismissed calls by Tory grandee Lord Lawson for Chancellor Philip Hammond to be sacked.

But Chris Philp told BBC Newsnight: "That's nonsense".

"As we look to the October Council next week, I hope the member states will recognize the progress we've made and take a step forward in the spirit of the prime minister's Florence speech". "The details are for negotiations".

The issue of citizens' rights is one of the main issues to be dealt with during the negotiations, along with the land borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and Gibraltar and Spain. "Clearly I think it's in the interests of the United Kingdom and the European Union that they do", Davis said. If we interfere, situation becomes much more complicated, "he said".

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