Tusk says European Union not working on 'no deal' scenario for Brexit


Once again, the United Kingdom asked the European Union to discuss their future relationship while negotiating the withdrawal - even though both sides agreed at the start of talks to make citizens' rights, the exit bill and the Irish border their priorities before any trade arrangements.

Brexit negotiations have reached a "disturbing deadlock" over the question of Britain's divorce bill, the European Commission's chief negotiator has said.

Barnier told journalists in a joint press conference with UK Brexit minister David Davis that talks on the financial settlement had only been technical this week, and the UK has not spelled out what earlier commitments it would pay for.

"I hope the member states will recognise the progress we've made and take a step forward in the spirit of the prime minister's Florence speech", Davis said, adding that it was "in the interests of Europe and the United Kingdom".

However, that commitment has not yet been spelled out by United Kingdom negotiators.

A worst-case Brexit scenario could see all air traffic between the United Kingdom and the European Union grounded the day after Britain leaves the bloc on 29 March, 2019, the country's Chancellor said on Wednesday (11 October).

He called on European Union leaders to give Barnier a mandate next week to "explore ways forward" on May's proposal for a two-year transition period after Brexit, even if trade talks are not opened.

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Davis says settling terms of the U.K. -EU divorce is "dependent on discussions of our future relationship". However, several member states oppose this.

Hammond said it's conceivable "there will be no air traffic between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the 30th of March 2019, but I don't seriously think anybody believes that is where we will get to".

But he added: "I remain convinced that with political will, decisive breakthroughs are within reach in the coming two months".

"If it turns out that the talks continue at a slow pace, and that "sufficient progress" hasn't been reached, then - together with our United Kingdom friends - we will have to think about where we are heading", he said.

Barnier described the stalemate as "very disturbing" and added that he was advising leaders that not enough progress had been made to move on to trade negotiations.

On the latter issue differences still remain over the European Court of Justice's role in guaranteeing those rights, family unifications and the exporting of United Kingdom benefits.