Brexit 'deadlock' prevents move to trade negotiations

Brexit 'deadlock' prevents move to trade negotiations

"And to be clear on our side we will be ready to face any eventualities and all eventualities", the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

Michel Barnier told a news conference to mark the end of a fifth round of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union that progress was made in some issues but there was still "deadlock" over the so-called divorce bill.

The leaders meet in Brussels on October 19-20, and with time short to seal a deal it had been hoped they would agree to widen the talks.

Nonetheless, Mr Barnier told a news conference, there was some movement on other elements of Britain's divorce settlement and he spoke of possibly acceding in the next two months to British demands for talks on a trade pact and a transition period after withdrawal in March 2019 - if the political will was there. The agreement we are working on will not be built on concessions.

But Britain says these issues are closely intertwined with their future relations like trade and must be discussed together.

"Over the next few weeks I will explore the way forward, if there is the necessary will, ways of getting out of this deadlock we found ourselves in on the financial issues with the view of making sufficient progress by the next European Council", he said.

"We would like them to give Michel the means to broaden the negotiations".

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British voters opted to leave the European Union in a referendum over a year ago and Brexit negotiations are expected to be finalized in March 2019. The pound fell Thursday on news of the slow progress, trading 0.6 percent lower at $1.3145.

However, Theresa May has held firm on her position that the United Kingdom will honour its commitments only once it secures assurances from Brussels over the breadth and nature of a future partnership.

'There have therefore been no negotiations on this subject.

With the clock ticking, Barnier reaffirmed that parting with "no deal will be a very bad deal".

The European Union said talks hit a wall over what the United Kingdom owes when it leaves, increasing the chances of a messy departure as time is running out to clinch a deal. That will be hard in a government constantly at war with itself on the direction of Brexit.

Hammond is considered one of the most pro-EU members of May's cabinet and pro-Brexit lawmakers and campaigners have accused him of trying to water down or even halt Britain's exit.