The call of the UK government for “intensified” Brexit negotiations have been ridiculed by European Union sources who asserts that the teams do not have enough to talk about in their current monthly talks.
On Monday, Downing Street said that it was “ready to intensify negotiations” and “typically [with] negotiations, as time goes on you see the pace pick up.”
That followed reports that the government was ready to suggest “continuous negotiations” which would see discussion regarding Brexit extended on a week-by week basis to break the deadlock over the divorce bill.
However, a source from the EU told the Times newspaper: “We said we can have more rounds if they want. If they have substance. But frankly, we have run out of things to explore.
“We need to negotiate. We already ran out of steam twice in sessions two and three after a few days, so what would we do in these more frequent rounds?”
“Time is flying. It’s passing very quickly. If we need to, we on our side are prepared on behalf of the EU institutions to step up and intensify the rhythm of those negotiations,” Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator said last week.
By October, the teams need to have made “sufficient progress” on three key issues so that they can be given a mandate by the European Council to move discussions onto the future relationship.
The two parties need to come to an agreement on issues regarding the Northern Irish border, the citizens’ rights, and the financial obligations of Britain for negotiations to progress.
The next round of discussions is scheduled to be held on September 18, three weeks after the previous one, which attests that negotiations are already stepping up the pace, as there has previously been a break of four weeks.
The Brexit negotiator of the European Parliament suggested that instead of it forcing talks to be intensified, the next round could be delayed on the United Kingdom’s orders.
Guy Verhofstadt informed MEPs: “Possibly the next round of negotiation will be the last week of September, not the third week of September.
“Apparently there will be an important intervention by the British prime minister in the coming days, foreseen on September 21, and then it’s a little bit stupid that this is mixed with the negotiation round.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be making a speech on the future relationship she wants the United Kingdom to have with the European Union after Brexit.