Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said Thursday there was a “fundamental divergence” with the British negotiating team over the way that the rights of EU citizens in the U.K. would be guaranteed and that he needed clarity from Britain on its position on the Brexit bill.
At a press conference at the end of the first substantive round of Brexit talks, he said: “We are now all moving forward in a common direction.” But he and his opposite number, the U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis, reported little progress in the talks on the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU.
Barnier complained that Britain had still not made clear its views on some crucial, central issues, particularly the financial settlement.
“I said last week that I wanted to identify the points where we agree and the points where we disagree,” Barnier said. “This was possible this week for the issues on which there was a clear British position.”
But he said there was not sufficient clarity from the Brits. “A clarification of the UK position is indispensable,” he said.
A senior EU official told POLITICO, “The EU never asked that we establish figures to be included in the bill — we need a methodology which gives enough trust and clarity to the 27 [remaining EU member states].”
The official said that the EU had provided a, “detailed legal analysis underpinning a list of obligations which need to be included in the financial settlement—the UK was not in a position to present its legal analyses,” adding it was positive that the U.K. had acknowledged it would need to pay something.
“The point of convergence is the recognition of obligations surviving the withdrawal. But this is something we need to work on.”
On the issue of the rights of EU citizens living in the U.K. post Brexit, Barnier said, “There does remain one fundamental divergence on the way on which such rights would be guaranteed and on other points such as the rights of future family members and the export of certain benefits.”
He said that he placed “fundamental importance” on the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to guarantee the rights of citizens, calling it “an obligation not a choice.”
Davis said the talks had been conducted “constructively and at pace,” but he said “we shouldn’t expect incremental progress in every round.”
“I am pleased by the progress we have made [on the citizens rights issue],” he said.
“We’ve also agreed to publishing a joint paper today which sets out the many areas of convergence … We agree on the need for certainty on the part of citizens … We obviously have different views about how we achieve that,” Davis said.
The Brexit secretary described the talks as “robust but constructive” but added that, “clearly there’s a lot left to talk about.”
Click Here: cheap sydney roosters jersey