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Barnier Says He Can't Be Flexible Until He Knows What UK Wants

Barnier Says He Can't Be Flexible Until He Knows What UK Wants

"We need to be crystal clear that we will begin no negotiations on the new economic and trade relationship between the UK and the EU before all these questions are resolved. that is the divorce between the EU and the UK", Juncker told the EU envoys who gathered in Brussels for an annual conference recently.

"The lack of detailed and workable proposals in the position papers the United Kingdom has produced, and the failure to advance the talks owing to the disagreement over money, mean that that the U.K.is losing the limited ability it had to shape the transitional arrangements", J.P.Morgan analyst Malcolm Barr said in a note.

The French government also said earlier this week that it "fully supports, on the substance as well as on the method, Michel Barnier's negotiating mandate" and that suggestions in the British eurosceptic press that it would bypass him "are founded on absolutely nothing and do not reflect reality".

Brexit secretary David Davis said at the latest round of talks that he wanted to see "flexibility and imagination on both sides".

But Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated on Wednesday that she wants a bridging arrangement outside the scope of the single market and customs union - something the EU is skeptical about, and which would eat up even more precious negotiating time.

Brussels officials have poured cold water on Britain's threat to bypass the European Union and open one-on-one Brexit negotiations with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.

The EU has rejected Britain's calls for a more "flexible" approach to Brexit talks, amid growing signs of deadlock over the divorce bill.

Asked if she still believed no deal is better than a bad deal, she said: "Yes, I think that is right. We're ready to roll up our sleeves and get back to work once more", he said.

Brussels has also insisted the future trade relationship will not be discussed until the United Kingdom makes "sufficient progress" on agreeing citizens' rights and the Northern Ireland border.

Downing Street said further position papers will be published next week and defended the UK's approach to the talks.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, said separately it seemed unlikely there would be enough progress made by October to turn to the comprehensive free trade deal London wants as the basis for future ties with the bloc. "So there is still an enormous amount of issues which remain to be settled".

Verhofstadt also said he had received thousands of letters from anxious citizens, both British nationals on the continent and European Union citizens in the UK.

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