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Brexit: Barnier (EU) about the fifth round of negotiations, “constructive spirit but no progress”

Bruxelles, 12 ottobre: conferenza stampa di David Davis (Regno Unito, a sinistra) e Michel Barnier (Ue)

(Brussels) A new round of Brexit negotiations, the fifth one, ended in Brussels this morning. Despite the “constructive spirit”, no “major progress has been made”, Michel Barnier, negotiator for the EU Commission, had to state at the press conference. The first three key items of the negotiations are again on top of the agenda: citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland, the charges the United Kingdom has to pay for the obligations undertaken as one of the 28 members. There are still several “differences”, Barnier reported, such as family reunions and the exportation of welfare benefits. Still at a standstill are the costs of its economic obligations with the EU that Great Britain has not prepared yet, a deadlock that has heavy repercussions on “taxpayers and European investment plans”. According to Barnier, it is clear that “a discussion about future cooperation”, the economic relationships between the EU and the United Kingdom after Brexit, cannot be started at next week’s European Council. His counterpart David, British Secretary of State for Brexit, would like to receive, instead, the green lights from the European Council to speak of future, beyond the issues of the negotiations. However, at the press conference, Barnier repeated it again and again: “The EU is willing to cooperate with the United Kingdom as soon as this first stage is over”. This is what he has been appointed to do by the EU Commission and by the EU Parliament. London “must take responsibility for the consequences of its decision”.

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