Juncker: Britain Must Pay What It Owns To The EU


Brexit talks are deadlocked over money, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday.

"They have to pay.I'm not in a revenge mood". We had the idea that we would clear all the questions related to the divorce - it's not possible.

Jean-Claude Juncker has dismissed Brexit negotiations over citizens" rights as a "nonsense", claiming he could not understand why the British had not guaranteed from the start that everything would remain the same for European nationals - "or "foreigners', as they are saying in London" - after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

"As we are not able to do this we will not be able to say in the European Council in October that now we can move to the second phase of negotiations".

"Why are we discussing nonsense like that?"

To laughter from the students at Luxembourg university, he added: "If you are sitting in the bar and you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues [are leaving without] paying, that is not feasible". The Europeans have to be grateful for so many things Britain has brought to Europe before war, during war, after war.

The EU has told Britain that a summit next week will conclude that insufficient progress has been made in talks for Brussels to open negotiations on a future trade deal. "But now they have to pay".

He added he didn't understand why both sides don't say "things will stay as they are" after the UK's exit, continuing: "Citizens have rights because they are citizens, not because there is a Brexit issue which has to be discussed".

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The issue of citizens' rights is one of the main issues to be dealt with during the negotiations, along with the land borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and Gibraltar and Spain.

The European Commission president took the hard-line stance as it emerged that EU leaders were considering taking the first steps towards trade and transition negotiations.

Yet these promises were not enough to convince European Union chief negotiation Michel Barnier to recommended "sufficient progress" has been made on phase one of the talks.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC: "The Tories' Repeal Bill is simply not fit for objective".

"Theresa May must start listening to the legitimate concerns of Labour and some of her own MPs by urgently changing approach". "Nigel Lawson was a great chancellor in the 1980s, but that was 30 or 40 years ago, and he certainly doesn't speak for the modern Parliamentary Conservative Party".

In her Florence speech Theresa May did say that the United Kingdom was prepared to honour all financial obligations up to the end of the EU's current seven-year budgetary bloc, which ends in 2020, in a bid to break the divorce talks deadlock.

Juncker reiterated the European Union position that Britain would need to pay in full the cost of the financial commitments it had made as a member of the European Union, including contingent liabilities such as pensions and covering long-term loans.

The Downing Street also announced that the detail of the financial settlement was for the negotiation and that the issue could "only be resolved as part of the settlement of all of the issues that she spoke about in Florence".