Juncker criticises UK’s Brexit position papers30/08/17Government
The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, has criticised the UK’s Brexit negotiations, stating that none of the papers provided so far are satisfactory.
Juncker reiterated that there would be no trade negotiations between the EU and UK until the divorce bill was settled.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said the UK was in a “good position”.
However, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Brexit secretary David Davis had to “start negotiating seriously”.
The EU has previously said that it will not discuss trade issues with the UK until it has resolved three issues.
One of these issues is the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK post-Brexit, and the rights of UK citizens in the EU.
EU negotiators also argue a decision on the Irish border, and the size of a financial settlement between the EU and UK, must be made.
However, UK negotiators have said they are not going to give up their biggest negotiating card at such an early phase.
The UK government published its position papers in August, one of which called for no additional restrictions for goods already on the market in the UK and EU.
Juncker said: “I find none of [the papers] truly satisfactory.
“We need to be crystal clear that we will begin no negotiations on the new economic and trade relationship between the UK and the EU before all these questions are resolved … that is the divorce between the EU and the UK.”
Later, a government spokesman said: “The PM has made clear that we will be seeking a deep and special partnership with the EU that works in the interests of businesses and consumers in both the UK and the EU.”