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Brexit talks to be delayed after hitting a 'deadlock' over Britain's divorce bill

Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images.
  • Brexit talks set to be delayed after discussions hit “deadlock” over the Brexit divorce bill.
  • EU chief negotiator says there is “no question” of the EU making concessions.
  • David Davis insists progress has been made.
  • Trade talks now likely to be held back until next year.

LONDON — Brexit negotiations have hit a “deadlock” over the size of Britain’s divorce bill, the EU’s chief negotiator said today as he confirmed he would recommend talks on a Brexit trade deal should be delayed at least until the end of the year.

Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs earlier this week that there was now a “momentum” to Brexit talks adding that the “ball is [in the EU’s] court”.

However, Michel Barnier said on Thursday that there was “no question” of the EU making concessions on the financial commitments Britain must meet before any Brexit deal can be agreed.

“There is no question of making concessions on citizens rights… no question on Northern Ireland and there’s no question of making concessions of thousands of projects across Europe [that would be paid for by the divorce bill]” he said.

Speaking alongside the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis at the end of the final round of the first phase of Brexit talks, Barnier said that while some details had been clarified, there had been “no great step forward” in negotiations.

However he added that “decisive progress” could be “within our grasp within the next two months.”

He added that Theresa May “could find a way out of this deadlock” if she changed her position.

Davis tried to appeal to individual EU member states to intervene to progress the talks.

“I hope the member states will recognise the progress we’ve made and take a step forward in the spirit of the PM’s Florence speech.”

He added: “The position we’re in now is defined by the EU’s definition of sufficient progress”.

This is a developing story….

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