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EU/UK split on progress achieved in Brexit talks

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 01:41

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator says no ''decisive progress'' has been achieved in the third round of Brexit talks, and that opening talks on the two sides' future ties in October was doubtful at the current pace, though Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said the sides ''made some concrete progress''. David Pollard reports.

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Sound check complete, it came through loud and clear .... The EU and Britain unable, even, to agree to disagree. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, DAVID DAVIS, SAYING: "I think it's fair to say we've seen some concrete progress." (SOUNDBITE) (French) EU CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING: "We did not get any decisive progress on any of the principal subjects." Except, added Barnier, on the future Irish border, where Davis said there had been a 'high degree of convergence'. The divisions remain on other key Britain-EU divorce issues. And the two sides far apart on the bill Britain should pay on leaving the EU - 60 billion euros has been mooted. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING: "The UK explained that its obligations will be limited to their last payment to the EU budget before departure." (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, DAVID DAVIS, SAYING: "It's fair to say across the piece we have a very different legal stance." Davis went on to reiterate British calls for a swift move to talks about a post-Brexit relationship with the EU. A possible start date in October for those now looks, though, less possible. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INVESTMENT DIRECTOR AT FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL TOM STEVENSON SAYING: "It's certainly true that as these talks progress over the summer and into the autumn the prospect of a sensible deal emerging seems to slip further away. There doesn't seem a willingness on either side yet to be the first to make the compromise that that's probably necessary to bring the sides together." The joint news conference marks the end of the third round of negotiations since the UK voted to leave the EU last year. For both sides this, apparently, a case of third time - still - unlucky.

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EU/UK split on progress achieved in Brexit talks

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 01:41