European Union says Brexit talks 'deadlocked' but progress possible

European Union says Brexit talks 'deadlocked' but progress possible

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would vote Remain again as he attacked "shocking" progress over Brexit talks and warned Britain could "fall out of the EU" without a deal.

The Frenchman reserved his most cutting comments for the issue of financial commitments, saying Britain had still not spelled out what Prime Minister Theresa May promised in a key speech in Florence, Italy, last month.

His remarks come amid reports that the Frenchman is becoming increasingly frustrated with the stranglehold European Union leaders have over him and wants to break free on starting transition talks.

Barnier told the news conference that he would follow a mandate ruling out any discussion of the future before issues arising from Britain's past membership are settled and said it was important to respect the "sequencing".

Speaking a mix of French and English, Barnier said the "constructive" talks had clarified some points but there had not been any "great steps forward" on central issues.

He said the interpretation of rights must be "genuinely consistent" between the United Kingdom and the EU after Britain quits and suggested they must be applied through the European Court of Justice.

Nonetheless, he offered hope: "I am still convinced that, with political will, decisive progress is within reach in the coming two months".

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Hammond said the government is "planning for all scenarios including a no-deal scenario" in which divorce talks end without a deal on trade, security and other relations.

Despite Barnier's assessment of insufficient progress, Davis said the United Kingdom would still like European Union leaders next week to give a mandate to Barnier to "broaden the negotiation" and begin talks on the two-year transition period proposed by May in Florence.

"A no deal will be a very bad deal", Barnier said.

Mr Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence on Sept 22, the British positions on money, expatriate citizens' rights and the Irish border still fell short of the "significant progress " set as a condition for opening the trade negotiations.

The possibility of Britain leaving without a deal has suddenly become a reality in recent days, and the failure of negotiators to reach a breakthrough has rattled nerves and markets.

The gridlock means that the EU's 27 remaining leaders will decide against starting discussions on a post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom when they meet in Brussels next week, or on a transitional arrangement to cushion the impact of separation. Britain's Brexit minister David Davis recognised that much work was to be done, but said he was confident an agreement on citizens' rights could come soon, notably regarding how those rights would be guaranteed in courts.

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