Juncker says 'Brexit position papers are not 'satisfactory'

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels today prepared to deliver a hard-hitting message about what Britain sees as needless delays

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels today prepared to deliver a hard-hitting message about what Britain sees as needless delays

"The EU's guidelines were designed for "serious and constructive negotiations", he tweeted.

The thorny issue of the bill was tackled in this round of negotiations but the raft of position documents Britain published in the lead-up to talks didn't include a paper on how it proposed to calculate the financial settlement of the divorce.

He called Mrs May's approach to Brexit "unsatisfactory", and criticised her refusal to put a figure on how much she is willing to hand over.

Verhofstadt was hit with a barrage of questions from several members of the European Council on topics ranging from the Irish Border and how the EU plans to maintain the Good Friday agreement, of which the EU is a co-guarantor, to how he planned to guarantee the settled status of EU nationals already residing within the UK.

The latest round of Brexit talks this week have got off to a bad start, with the EU's chief negotiator calling on the United Kingdom to get "serious".

Mr Davis arrived in Brussels last night to tie off this week's discussions and is expected to stand alongside Mr Barnier at a press conference today.

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The British government has decided not to publish a position paper on the Brexit financial settlement, an aspect of Davis's "constructive ambiguity" approach that has infuriated European Union politicians.

But progress has been slow and the negotiations came to a virtual halt a year ago after Erdogan began a massive crackdown following an attempted coup in July, sending ties plunging to a new low.

The European Council's negotiating plan says the talks must be conducted "as a single package" where "individual items can not be settled separately". Verhofstadt blamed the slow progression on a lack of clarity from the UK.

She told the BBC: "We have been publishing a series of papers over the summer, there will be more papers to come, where we are setting out the key issues that both sides need to address, the options that we have, the ideas we have, of how to deal with those. If only one party around the table is putting a position and the other party is not responding then it is hard to start a negotiation", he said.

Verhofstadt said there is "more and more recognition" that a transitional period will be needed as the United Kingdom leaves the bloc - something the European Union won't even talk about until the outline of the divorce settlement is clear. "And the sooner we remove the ambiguity, the sooner we will be in a position to discuss the future relationship and a transitional period". What will be the substance of this transition deal? "We need to know their position and then I can be flexible".