Posted on Aug 30, 2017
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker attacked Britain’s failure to answer “huge numbers of questions” on its Brexit plans as negotiators held a new round of talks on Tuesday on a divorce due in less than two years.
Hours after his chief negotiator Michel Barnier urged his British counterpart to “start negotiating seriously” when they met in Brussels on Monday, European Commission President Juncker echoed the bloc’s refusal to discuss the future free trade deal London wants before pencilling in terms for leaving the EU, Reuters has reported.
Juncker, who has faced serious questions over his alleged alcohol dependency, scoffed at a raft of British negotiating papers published over the summer which Prime Minister Theresa May’s government said had shown London was responding seriously to the detailed proposals agreed by the other 27 EU states.
“I would like to be clear that I did read with the requisite attention all the papers produced by Her Majesty’s government; I find none of them truly satisfactory,” he stated.
These included issues of rights for EU citizens in Britain and Britons in Europe after Brexit and the EU-UK border that will stretch across the island of Ireland, he said.
“We need to be crystal clear that we will begin no negotiations on the new economic and trade relationship between the UK and the EU before all these questions are resolved ... that is the divorce between the EU and the UK,” Juncker said.
“First of all we settle the past before we look forward to the future,” he insisted.
"Perhaps they should settle their bill for Britain saving them twice in the last century", one UK MEP told EU Today.
Follow EU Today on Social media: