Davis wants legal clarification from European Union over Brexit payout

Davis wants legal clarification from European Union over Brexit payout

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncke warned the United Kingdom on Tuesday that unless the so-called "divorce bill" is settled there would be no discussion on post-Brexit trade ties.

"Mr Juncker says it's "crystal clear" that we can't talk about the future relationship before solving divorce issues, but this is a decision to be taken by the European Union 27, not the commission", a government source claimed.

The British government is reportedly frustrated that the EU will not discuss the terms of the future EU-UK relationship until issues such as the "divorce bill" and the rights of EU citizens are settled.

Juncker is set to meet UK's former Prime Minister Tony Blair in Brussels this week while Brexit talks are still ongoing.

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.

The decision was taken by a small circle including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and aims to press home European Union criticism of Britain's negotiating position.

More news: White House Official: Kushner Never Said Settlement Freeze Will Topple Netanyahu

British negotiators, of whom over 100 were taking part in up to five separate forums at the European Union headquarters, presented their legal assessment of an European Union demand that Juncker has said might leave London paying Brussels some 60 billion euros ($72 billion) - a sum May's ministers have dismissed as unacceptable.

A source close to Corbyn said killing off the bill was not the aim of the party leadership and some pro-EU lawmakers in constituencies where voters supported leaving the bloc might find it hard to scrap laws that are central to Brexit.

No 10 rejected Juncker's comments - and doubled down on Davis's insistence that talks on a trade deal should take place alongside settling withdrawal issues, including the size of any financial settlement.

Dieter Kempf said that there doesn't appear to be a single agreed British government position.

Brexit Secretary David Davis is in Brussels today for more talks - and has repeatedly called for them to be more flexible.

"I've read all the position papers produced by Her Majesty's government and none of them is satisfactory", Juncker said on Tuesday at a conference in Brussels. Two more rounds are scheduled before the October summit.

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