Setback for UK as Michel Barnier says latest Brexit talks have made no 'great steps forward'

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said he will not recommend that talks should start on the post-Brexit UK/EU trade relationship at next week's European Council summit.

Mr Barnier said this week's fifth round of negotiations ended without making any "great steps forward" and there was "deadlock" on the UK's financial settlement.

He told a press conference in Brussels at the conclusion of the four-day talks: "On this basis I am not able in the current circumstances to propose next week to the European Council that we should start discussions on the future relationship."

Mr Barnier's comments represent a setback to the UK Government, which had been hoping to persuade the remaining 27 EU leaders at the October 19 summit that sufficient progress had been made on the divorce deal to move on to discussions on the future UK/EU relationship on issues including trade.

Mr Barnier told a closing news conference in Brussels the talks had "clarified" some issues but that more needed to be done.

"We clarified some points without however making any great steps forward," he said

But there was "still disagreement" on how to resolve issues about citizens' rights after Brexit.

And he said there was "deadlock" on the issue of the scale of Britain's financial settlement, a subject on which there were no negotiations this week.


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