Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brussels Bust-Up over Brexit Bill; Eu Chief Attacks British Minister and Says: Accounts Must Be Settled Clash over EU Court's Say on Citizens

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brussels Bust-Up over Brexit Bill; Eu Chief Attacks British Minister and Says: Accounts Must Be Settled Clash over EU Court's Say on Citizens

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Kate Proctor

BRITAIN and the European Union clashed today over the UK's Brexit "divorce bill", which could spiral to tens of billions of pounds.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier accused Cabinet minister David Davis of failing to give enough details about the UK's stance on the expected payment for progress to be made towards a full deal.

In a thinly veiled criticism of the UK's readiness for the second round of talks, which started this week in Brussels, Mr Barnier said: "As I said clearly to David, clarification of the UK position is indispensable for us to negotiate and for us to make significant progress on this financial dossier, which is inseparable from the other withdrawal dossiers.

"What we want, and we are working on this, is an orderly withdrawal for the United Kingdom. An orderly withdrawal means accounts must be settled."

Mr Barnier said a deal would not be achieved through "incremental steps" and that the EU had laid out its position on the divorce bill on May 29.

"As soon as the United Kingdom is ready to clarify the nature of its commitments, we will be prepared to discuss this with the British negotiators," he added.

Mr Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said talks about the divorce bill had been "robust" but there was a lot to be "positive" about in some areas, including on Britain's future nuclear arrangements if it is no longer a full member of the Euratom Continued on Page 6 Continued from Page 1 agency. On the financial settlement, he said: "We both recognise the importance of sorting out the obligations we have to one another, both legally and in a spirit of mutual co-operation."

The British team is understood to think its EU counterparts are being unclear on what they believe the legal obligations are over the divorce bill too, so there is frustration on either side. …

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