European Union says Brexit talks 'deadlocked' but progress possible


On the question of how much Britain has to pay to settle its financial commitments, he said: "We have reached a state of deadlock, which is disturbing".

Barnier also said he would be not recommend to the European Council next week that talks on trade and future relations to begin, because there has been no sufficient progress in talks so far.

Barnier said that there was "deadlock" on the issue of the scale of Britain's financial settlement and that there had been no negotiations on the issue this week.

Mr Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence on Sept 22, the British positions on money, expatriate citizens' rights and the Irish border still fell short of the "significant progress " set as a condition for opening the trade negotiations.

Brexit talks have made little progress, the European Union's negotiator said on Thursday, meaning he can not yet recommend broadening the negotiations beyond the focus on the terms of Britain's exit to include key issues such as future trade relations.

But Britain says these issues are closely intertwined with their future relations like trade and must be discussed together.

On the British side, Brexit Secretary David Davis struck a more optimistic tone - but argued that the European Union needed to broaden Mr Barnier's mandate - set by member states - to help make progress.

"We would like them to give Michel the means to broaden the negotiations". Johnson, who was a leading voice for Brexit in Britain's European Union referendum a year ago, said he remained "very optimistic" that a deal could be done. "We're looking for some urgency from our friends and partners, and it's time to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done".

Thursday's news conference, however, was brightened briefly by an unexpected visitor dressed as Superwoman promoting her book on why Europe needs one.

With the clock ticking, Barnier reaffirmed that parting with "no deal will be a very bad deal".

The European Union said talks hit a wall over what the United Kingdom owes when it leaves, increasing the chances of a messy departure as time is running out to clinch a deal.

The Brexit spokesman for Britain's opposition Labour Party accused the government of risking a collapse in the talks with its infighting.

Barnier described the stalemate as "very disturbing" and added that he was advising leaders that not enough progress had been made to move on to trade negotiations.