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EU gives Theresa May two weeks to up divorce bill and stop talks stalling

 

 

EU Council president Donald Tusk has told Theresa May she has two weeks to act on the issues of the Brexit divorce bill and Ireland for negotiations to progress.

Mr Tusk told the Prime Minister he was ready to move onto the next phase of talks but that the UK needed to show more progress on key issues.

He said good progress had been made on citizens’ rights but that this had not been mirrored in other areas.

We will be ready to move onto the second phase in December but, in order to do so, we need to see more progress from the UK side.

If there is not sufficient progress by then, I will not be in a position to propose new guidelines on the future relationship at the December European council.

I made it very clear to the Prime Minister that this progress needs to be made at the beginning of December at the latest.

The ultimatum comes in the wake of Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar saying the British government was not thinking through the implications of Brexit on his country.

He said: What we want to take off the tabel before talking about trade is the idea that there would be any hard border, physical border, or border resembling the past in Ireland.

I think it would be in all of our interests that we proceed to phase two in December.

But it’s 18 months since the referendum. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like they’ve thought all of this through.

It is currently unknown how security will function along the 310 mile border between the Republic and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier last week told his British counterpart David Davis he had two a fortnight to spell out the UK’s position.

The UK has so far said it would honour its existing financial obligations by ensuring no EU nation is worse off during the current budgetary period, ending in 2020.

But EU officials want the UK to go further, paying more towards regional development spending and pension payments for British officials working for the EU.

French president Emmanuel Macron said the unified position of all 27 other EU countries was that future talks would not be held until the divorce has been settled.

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