Jean-Claude Juncker: The UK government’s Brexit position papers are not ‘satisfactory’

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President Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, stated that the position papers of the UK government regarding the negotiations on Brexit are not “satisfactory.”On Tuesday, during a conference of EU diplomats, Juncker discussed that there were still “enormous amount of issues” that needs to be resolved in Brexit negotiations, which restarted this week.

On Tuesday, during a conference of EU diplomats, Juncker discussed that there were still “enormous amount of issues” that needs to be resolved in Brexit negotiations, which restarted this week.

Juncker’s remarks follow Michael Barnier, European Union’s chief negotiator, stating on Monday that Britain “must start negotiating seriously.”

Numerous position papers and “future partnership papers” were published by Theresa May’s government in the past two weeks, which includes plans for the Irish border, and future relationship of the United Kingdom with the customs union and the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction.

However, negotiation will not be allowed by the European Union to move onto the next stage unless “sufficient progress” has been made on three major issues – the citizens’ rights, the Irish border, and Britain’s financial obligations, or the “divorce bill” as it is more widely known. So far, the government has declined to discuss the amount it owes to the European Union once it leaves. “I did read, with the requisite attention, all the papers produced by Her Majesty’s government and none of those is actually satisfactory. So there is still an enormous amount of issues which remain to be settled,” Junket stated.

“Not just on the border problems regarding Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is a very serious problem in respect of which we have had no definitive response, but we also have the status of European citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living on the continent,” added the president.

On Monday he recalled Barnier’s words, who stated: “We need UK papers that are clear to have constructive negotiations. And the sooner we remove the ambiguity, the sooner we will be in a position to discuss the future relationship and to a transitional period.”
David Davis, the Brexit secretary, announced that he wished to see ‘flexibility and imagination on both sides” during negotiations, however, the Europan Union will not move on to discussions of the future relationship unless the three major issues have been discussed.

Juncker announced: “We need to be crystal clear that we will commence no negotiations on the new relationship – particularly a new economic and trade relationship – between the UK and the EU before all these questions are resolved.”

“First of all, we settle the past before we look forward to the future.”

On Monday, Davis also defended the position papers explaining that they were the outcome of “hard work and detailed thinking that has been going on behind the scenes.”