Britain’s exit tab hangs up talks with EU
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.