Brexit: Jean-Claude Juncker criticises UK’s position papers

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Jean-Claude Juncker said there would be “no negotiations” on trade until the British government discussed a financial settlement

The European Commission president has criticised the UK’s Brexit negotiations, saying none of the papers provided so far are satisfactory.

Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated that there would be no trade negotiations between the EU and UK until the divorce bill was settled.

The prime minister’s spokeswoman said the UK was in a “good position”.

But EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Brexit secretary David Davis had to “start negotiating seriously”.

The EU has previously said that it will not discuss trade issues with the UK until it has resolved three issues.

One of the the sticking points is the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK post-Brexit, and the rights of UK citizens in the EU.

EU negotiators also argue a decision on the Irish border, and the size of a financial settlement between the EU and UK, must be met.

But British negotiators have said they are not going to give up their biggest negotiating card at such an early phase.

The UK government published its position papers in August, one of which which called for no additional restrictions for goods already on the market in the UK and EU.

The BBC’s Europe correspondent Kevin Connolly said “the British perception of the talks is more positive than the EU’s”, and added UK officials were “puzzled” at how dismissive Mr Juncker was of the papers.

Mr Juncker said: “I find none of [the papers] truly satisfactory.

“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.”

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