After EU leaders agreed that no “sufficient progress” has been made on the divorce of Britain from the European Union, Brexit trade discussions have been postponed until the end of 2017.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, confirmed that the European Union would start internal talks regarding trade but would not start formal negotiations with Britain until later in 2017.
In a statement, the European Council agreed that trade talks should start “as soon as possible.” However, it stated that a “firm and concrete commitment” regarding the financial settlement was needed before formal negotiations could start.
It continued that the council would “start internal preparatory discussions” regarding a trade deal.
Leaders of the European Union, who met without May, reportedly took only 90 seconds to agree on their position.
Speaking at a press conference that was held in Brussels, May admitted that they “still have some way to go” in negotiations. However, she said that they were within “touching distance of a deal” on European Union citizens rights and other issues.
The Prime Minister added that both sides should take the opportunity to “assess and reflect” on how further progress can be made.
“We must work together to get to a result that we can stand behind and that works for all of our people,” said May.
Theresa May has reportedly agreed privately with leaders of the European Union to pay up to a €40 billion divorce bill.
Although the United Kingdom has made no official commitment to pay the extra money, Theresa May was said to have privately assured EU leaders that Britain will eventually agree to pay up once discussions progress onto trade.
May informed a select group of EU leaders that she is ready to pay an additional sum of around €20 billion in order to cover commitments which will stretch into budget rounds in the future.