Bri­tain’s exit tab hangs up talks with EU

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

BRUSSELS — Euro­pean Union exit talks have hit a dead­lock on the key is­sue of how much Bri­tain should pay in the break-up, the EU’s chief ne­go­tia­tor said Thurs­day, adding that the slow-mov­ing talks won’t be broad­ened any­time soon to in­clude fu­ture trade re­la­tions.

Giv­ing a down­beat as­sess­ment of the lat­est round of ne­go­ti­a­tions, EU ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier said that de­spite the talks’ re­cent “con­struc­tive spirit … we haven’t made any great steps for­ward.”

On the ques­tion of how much Bri­tain has to pay to set­tle its fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments to the bloc, he said, “We have reached a state of dead­lock, which is dis­turb­ing.”

Barnier said he would not be able to rec­om­mend to EU lead­ers meet­ing next week that “suf­fi­cient progress” has been made to broaden the talks to dis­cuss fu­ture EU-Bri­tish re­la­tions, in­clud­ing trade.

The lead­ers meet in Brussels on Thurs­day and Fri­day next week, and with time short to seal a deal, it had been hoped they would agree to widen the talks.

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