Brexit talks progressing, but issues remain - May

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and European Council President Donald Tusk attend a bilateral meeting during the Eastern Partnership summit at the European Council Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that Brexit talks were making progress but that there were outstanding issues on the divorce settlement and the border with EU member Ireland.

After meeting European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, May described their discussion as positive and painted a picture where the two sides were edging towards agreement to move Brexit talks onto a discussion of future trade.

But shortly afterwards, Tusk again repeated that Britain had 10 days to deliver on all the major areas of the initial divorce talks, something he said on Twitter was “possible but still a huge challenge”.

May told reporters after their meetings: “There are still issues across the various matters that we are negotiating on to be resolved.”

On one of the major sticking points -- how much Britain should pay when it leaves the European Union -- May said the two sides were making progress, but declined to offer any figures which could unlock the talks.

“I said that we would honour our commitments, and that’s what we’ve been talking about,” she said.

Referring to Britain’s border with Ireland, where the government is set to collapse, May said her government was talking to Irish officials “about solutions for that. We have the same desire, we want to ensure that movement of people and trade across that border can carry on as now.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by Alastair Macdonald @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Catherine Evans