Wary EU still pressing Britain for full Brexit deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU has not yet reached a confirmed deal with Britain over the “Brexit bill”, EU diplomats and officials said on Tuesday, adding that some in Brussels were worried that progress on a cash settlement masked differences over other issues.

“We are not there yet,” EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told Reuters in Berlin when asked about British newspaper reports that his team had broadly accepted an offer that the reports put in the order of 50 billion euros ($60 billion).

Britain wants to start negotiations on the trade terms that will be put in place once it leaves the EU in 2019, but Brussels has demanded it first resolve three issues: settling its bill, guaranteeing the rights of expatriates and explaining how the EU-UK land border will operate in Ireland.

Work was continuing on all three issues, Barnier said and he hoped to be able to tell EU leaders at a summit in two weeks that “sufficient progress” had been made that they could launch negotiations on a future trade pact.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been given an “absolute deadline” of Monday, when she will meet Barnier and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, to deliver improved offers in all three areas so that EU leaders can give their approval at the Dec.

Article source: https://in.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu/wary-eu-still-pressing-britain-for-full-brexit-deal-idINKBN1DT1QT

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