Both sides are facing a March 2019 deadline to seal a deal to disentangle Britain from the EU and to broker the terms of their post-split relationship
European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (R) is followed by British Secretary of State David Davis, holding an envelope, prior to delivering a statement for the media at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The EU and Britain start a third round of Brexit negotiations on Monday. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo), photo: AP/Virginia Mayo
28 of August 2017 13:07:28
BRUSSELS – The European Union and Britain started a third round of Brexit negotiations on Monday with EU negotiator Michel Barnier testily berating the British government for what he perceives as a lack of focus and insufficient progress during the five months since it triggered divorce proceedings.Refusing to bow to British requests to begin discussing a future relationship while it remains unclear how the two sides can split on good terms, Barnier insisted that the government of Prime Minister Theresa May must shake off its diplomatic sloth."To be honest, I am concerned," Barnier said during a brief welcome appearance with British counterpart David Davis."Time passes quickly," he said, adding he was "ready to intensify" the high-level negotiations that now consist of one four-day session a month.
Both sides are facing a March 2019 deadline to seal a deal to disentangle Britain from the EU and to broker the terms of their post-split relationship. The bulk of the negotiations need to wrap up in the fall of next year to allow for formal ratification by both sides."We must start negotiating seriously," Barnier said. "We need U.K. papers that are clear in order to have constructive negotiations. The sooner we remove the ambiguity, the sooner we will be in a position to discuss the future relationship and a transitional period."Davis and Britain have been trying to nudge the EU toward discussing their divorce and future trade relations simultaneously. The EU has insisted that key issues of the withdrawal must be dealt with before any post-Brexit discussions can begin. Britain is hoping those discussions can start as soon as October."The week ahead is about driving forward the technical discussions across all the issues — all the issues," Davis said, turning to Barnier to underline his point.The negotiators then disappeared into EU headquarters to discuss the issues that Barnier insists must take precedence. They range from the rights of European citizens living outside their native countries to the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and the outstanding costs owed by Britain to the EU budget.
Watch David Davis as he arrived in Brussels today and reiterated his call for a deal that works in the best interests of the UK and the EU pic.twitter.com/j5KRduBLfc— Exiting the EU Dept (@DExEUgov) 28 de agosto de 2017
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