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European Union says Brexit negotiations could take longer

13 October 2017

Hammond's comments came hours after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker suggested that delays in the talks were due to Britain's failure to meet EU demands that it meet all financial commitments that it made as a member of the bloc.

Chancellor Philip Hammond retreated from the potentially volatile comments moments after they were aired, saying on Twitter that "in an interview today I was making the point that we are united at home". Why not say, easily, with common sense - which is not a political category, as we know - that things will stay as they are?

The British government has so far refused to spell out what it is willing to pay, claiming it can not do so unless it is clear on what the future relationship with the bloc will be. As we cannot do this, we will not be able to say during the European council in October that now we can move to the second phase of the negotiations, which means the shaping of the British-European future.

To laughter from the students at Luxembourg university, he added: "If you are sitting in the bar and you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues [are leaving without] paying, that is not feasible. But not they have to pay".

"Europeans have to be grateful for so many things that Britain has brought to Europe, during war after war, before, everywhere and every time. But now they have to pay". "I'm not hating the British", he added, Reuters reported.

The issue of citizens' rights is one of the main issues to be dealt with during the negotiations, along with the land borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and Gibraltar and Spain.

"Not because they dislike us, nothing to do with that, but they are terrified that if they give us a good deal, the pressure in some other countries to leave will grow".

Negotiations are moving slowly.

But the document, which is subject to change by the leaders of the 27 remaining European Union states, warns that Britain has not made a "firm and concrete" commitment on what Brussels sees as its financial obligations.

In a draft summit statement seen by The Associated Press, the leaders direct EU ministers and EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier "to start internal preparatory discussions" on future ties.

He announced that he and Mr Davis will be holding more frequent, intense meetings in the coming weeks as they both attempt to smash the impasse and trigger the start of trade talks. European Union leaders insist progress must be made on Britain's divorce bill, the rights of citizens hit by Brexit and the future state of the Northern Ireland-Ireland border.

European Union says Brexit negotiations could take longer