EU's Barnier tells United Kingdom again to clarify Brexit positions

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels today prepared to deliver a hard-hitting message about what Britain sees as needless delays

The EU treaties don't provide for the terms of separation merely that the EU and the leaving state will negotiate an exit agreement which has regard to the future relationship.

The divorce bill has become a major sticking point in negotiations between Britain and the EU.

"Labour would seek a transitional deal that maintains the same basic terms that we now enjoy with the EU".

Mr Juncker yesterday said official papers setting out the Government's positions were not satisfactory and it was "crystal clear" that an "enormous amount" of issues needed to be settled before talks on a future trade deal could begin.

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Davis said on Monday that he wanted to see "flexibility and imagination on both sides" in negotiations, but the European Union will not move onto discussions of the future relationship until the three key issues have been tackled. Staying in the single market means accepting the direct jurisdiction of the European court of justice, which the government has promised to quit on Brexit day.

Mr Iida told Radio 4's Today programme it was "no secret" that Japan wanted Britain to stay in the European Union.

Talks between the British and European Union delegations are continuing in Brussels, even though Juncker said it was "crystal clear" there remained an enormous amount of issues, which were not clarified by papers outlining the UK's Brexit position.

The talks in Brussels are effectively deadlocked as Britain calls for parallel talks on the divorce deal and future relationship but the European Union says they must be taken one at a time.

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British negotiator Davis said the week ahead is "about driving forward the technical discussions across all the issues".

His rebuke to the approach being taken by Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit Secretary David Davis came after Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was concerned about the lack of clarity and insisted "we must start negotiating seriously".

The atmosphere of hostility was stoked by Mr Juncker as he responded to the recent slew of United Kingdom position papers by suggesting that "none" of the documents published over the last fortnight "is actually satisfactory".

Starmer said: "There's a growing consensus on both sides of the Channel that it's extremely unlikely that a bespoke transitional period can be negotiated, agreed and implemented by March 2019".

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