The Brexit negotiator of the European Union has pressed the United Kingdom once again to move fast with its negotiations to withdraw from the bloc.
On Friday, Michel Barnier informed reporters in Brussels that the United Kingdom needs to clarify its position in the next two weeks in order to begin trade discussions in December.
The United Kingdom and the European Union concluded another round of Brexit talks. However, there are still various key issues to fix, such as its exit bill — this is the amount that the United Kingdom needs to pay in order to fulfill its remaining obligations to the European Union. In the absence of agreements regarding these issues by December, it becomes more difficult to foresee how both will cooperate once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in March 2019.
“We need to work further on a number of points,” said Barnier, adding that paying for the accounts is “vital” before they can continue to begin to trade talks.
The United Kingdom and the European Union have been in negotiations since June. They had originally planned to begin trade talks in October. However, political differences over how much the United Kingdom needs to pay before leaving the bloc, how the Irish border will work after Brexit and what rights will the citizens of the European Union have in the United Kingdom, have delayed the process.
This has lengthened the uncertainty for people and businesses, which may affect personal decisions and investment in both the United Kingdom and in Europe.
“We want to bring back certainty, in particular legal certainty,” said Barnier.
David Davis, the negotiator for the United Kingdom, requested the European Union to be more pragmatic and more flexible to help advance Brexit talks.
He informed reporters that it is time to move into “political discussions” to make sure that trade talks will start in December.