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Brussels anger as UK ‘admits next round of Brexit talks will only be talks about talks’

EUROPEAN Union (EU) negotiators are said to be angry with the UK as the next round of negotiations will be only “talks about talks” and hardly mention the Brexit bill.

Senior officials in Whitehall have conceded that the two days listed for next week were “not a proper round” of talks but a “stock-taking exercise”.
EU sources greeted the idea of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, meeting in Brussels on November 9 and 10 for “non-talk talks” with anger and astonishment, according to The Daily Telegraph.Negotiations are usually characterised by at least three days of talks between the British and EU teams.

One source told the paper: ”The EU is coming to the table to negotiate not for a discussion of the state of play.”

David Davis (R) and Michel BarnierReuters/Getty

Brussels is said to be angry over ‘talks about talks’


A UK source told the broadsheet: “It will be a stock-taking exercise to see where we are. No one expects a significant breakthrough. This is a step-by-step process.”Express.co.uk understands that the meetings will be “low key” with “no big bang announcements”.

Brussels is still maintaining that talks regarding a trade deal and the proposed transition period are subject to the EU judging that “sufficient progress” has been made over the payment of the Brexit bill, as well as the issue of the Irish border and citizens’ rights.

While no official figure has been put on the sum, there are reports that it could be as high as £89 billion (€100bn).

Senior EU diplomat

A final decision on whether or not enough progress has been made is said to be made during a meeting of the European Council on December 14-15.Both Mr Davis and the Trade Secretary Liam Fox have in the past blamed the EU for holding up progress.

Mr Davis told the House of Lords EU committee this week: “We want to strategically accelerate the process. We are not holding up the process.”

One senior EU diplomat from a major EU capital failed to disguise their anger at the the hiatus.

David Davis, the Brexit SecretaryReuters

Brexit Secretary David Davis


The EU's top negotiator Michel BarnierGetty

EU negotiator Michel Barnier


They said: “Now the Brits don’t want to talk about concrete aspects, like the financial settlement, but only on ‘how to move the process forward’ – whatever that means.”However, British sources said the idea of continuous talks could help to “clear the thicket” of the issues between the sides and reduce the tension created by the current system of three-day negotiating followed by a press conference.

While Mr Barnier and Mr Davis are due to meet next week it is unclear if a press conference will take place but one could take place the week after.

The UK’s top Brexit official Oliver Robbins and his EU counterpart Sabine Weyand are due to meet next Thursday.

A government spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s Florence Speech gave a new momentum to the negotiations, and we are now within touching distance of an agreement on key issues such as citizens’ rights.

“We are approaching the discusisons in a sprint of goodwill and, as the Secretary of State said in the House yesterday, we look forward to working hard next week to make progress.”

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/875392/Brexit-news-EU-Britain-negotiations-talks-David-Davis-Michel-Barnier

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2 Comments on "Brussels anger as UK ‘admits next round of Brexit talks will only be talks about talks’"

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Jane Davies
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I think you are granting them with more intelligence than they deserve Peter….I am more convinced each day that they cannot see the bigger picture they are so intent on behaving like the sad losers they are. What with the American idiot behaving like a petulant teenager on a regular basis and our lot making a complete Horlicks of everything they come into contact with I wonder how much lower world politics can be allowed to go before the people rise up and take control.

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