Macron demands more clarity from Theresa May to break Brexit deadlock

A Volkswagen employee in Dresden

The European side, led by chief negotiator Michel Barnier, has demanded more clarity on how Britain will meet its existing financial commitments to the bloc, and guarantee the rights of E.U. citizens living in the U.K. The fourth round of talks is due to start on September 25.

"Before we move forward, we want to clarify matters concerning the settlement of European citizens, the financial terms of exit and the question of Ireland", Macron said in a joint briefing after a visit by Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila to Paris.

"The shift should placate the softer Brexit voices in the cabinet to some extent and may help spur further sterling gains".

It was May's first major speech on Brexit since January, the first since negotiations with the European Union leadership began, and the first since her Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in a June election.

Brussels will want May's speech to offer substance on the border issue but, so far, negotiators are "nowhere when it comes to solving the riddle of the border itself, though on other Ireland issues there is progress", Sky News reports.

"If those three points are not clarified, then we can not move forward on the rest".

In today's speech, May did not commit to a period for the transitional arrangement, but suggested two years could give the United Kingdom and EU enough time to establish new infrastructure and processes to deal with the country's exit from the union.

May proposed a transition period of "around two years" after Britain leaves the European Union for the two sides to work out the kinks in the final Brexit deal.

Mrs May insisted that Britain would honour its commitments made in the budget up to 2020, saying that none of the other countries would need to pay more or receive less... as a result of our decision to leave.

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But in his own speech in Italy on Thursday, to members of the national parliament in Rome, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier made clear that what he craves to hear is not inspirational oratory, but hard nuts and bolts related to settling terms of the U.K.'s divorce.

Germany's foreign minister said he was disappointed by British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit speech last week, adding to a downbeat reception from France ahead of the resumption of Brexit negotiations.

She also called for new "dynamic arrangements" to tackle new security challenges in the future with a treaty between the European Union and the UK.

"On the basis of today's speech and in the absence of any substantial progress toward a resolution of these three key issues, the Irish government should oppose any move toward the next phase of negotiations on trade at the October EU summit".

"We are now a year into a negotiation here, but there is still a lot of nitty-gritty that needs to be sorted out", he said.

In addition to agreeing to pay for projects that the United Kingdom has already committed to through the EU, May requested that the country pay contributions to take part in specific policies and programmes within science, education, culture and security.

She said the success of the European Union is profoundly beneficial to the UK's national interest. "I am even more concerned now". "And everyone knows that we will need this trust to create a solid relationship in the future", Barnier said. Mass migration, terrorism and climate change are "issues we can only solve in partnership", she said.

"The eyes of the world are on us but if we can be imaginative and creative about the way we establish this new relationship".

The DUP campaigned to leave the European Union during last year's referendum, but 56 percent of Northern Ireland voters supported remain.


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