The European Commission president has insisted the UK must agree to its financial obligations to the EU before Brexit talks can move on.
Yesterday Europe’s chief negotiator said there was deadlock over the bill owed by Britain, which could be anywhere between 18 and a 100 billion pounds.
Speaking in Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker said the process was taking longer than expected and suggested the UK was trying to avoid its round as someone might if they were in a bar with their friends.
Juncker said: “The British are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems. That’s the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought.”
“We cannot find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned. As we are not able to do this we will not be able to say in the European Council in October that now we can move to the second phase of negotiations.”
“They have to pay, they have to pay, not in an impossible way. I‘m not in a revenge mood. I‘m not hating the British,” he added, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has today called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make a Dáil statement on the progress of the Brexit talks.
The Wexford politician said that “Reports from yesterday’s negotiation session between the EU and the UK are disturbing. Insufficient progress is being made to progress to more substantive talks.
“Yet, Ireland is being cited as one of those countries that would like to see talks progressing to another phase so as to prepare for more substantive discussions on trade issues. This is despite the lack of resolution of the first two issues.
“But on what basis? We hear talk of Germany not being satisfied with the UK’s exit bill, but the issue of Ireland should be a more substantive one. Despite ongoing reassurances that the Irish issues are at the top of everyone’s agenda, no proposal of any merit to address the border issue has yet been made that I am aware of.
“This news comes on the back of reports that Ireland may not have been successful in its bid for either the European Banking Agency or the European Medicines Agency, and the emergence of Frankfurt as the key destination for post Brexit relocations.
“The Taoiseach knows he has my support in this critical national endeavour so I am calling on him now to take the opportunity to update the Dáil on the progress of those discussions. It is vital that Ireland keeps its eye on the ball on this critical national issue.”