EU warns Brexit talks must start ‘negotiating seriously’  

Third round of talks begin

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has expressed concern that there has not been sufficient progress so far, as the third round of talks get under way.

Michel Barnier has warned the UK that talks must start ‘negotiating seriously’ and that the UK must be clearer in order for the talks to move forward.

Mr Barnier said: “We need you to take positions on all separation issues. This is necessary to make sufficient progress. We must start negotiating seriously.

“We need UK papers that are clear in order to have constructive negotiations. And the sooner we remove the ambiguity, the sooner we will be in a position to discuss the future relationship and a transitional period.

“The EU 27 (the EU members excluding the UK) and the European Parliament stand united - they will not accept that separation issues are not addressed properly.

“I am ready to intensify negotiations over the coming weeks in order to advance.”

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK wanted to secure a ‘mutually beneficial’ agreement that works for the UK and EU and called for the EU to show ‘flexibility and imagination’ in the talks that will end on Thursday.

He said: “For the UK, the week ahead is about driving forward the technical discussions across all the issues.

“We want to lock in the points where we agree, unpick the areas where we disagree, and make further progress on a range of issues

“And we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get down to work again once more.”

Davis insisted that UK had been clear in its vision for Brexit and that UK position papers recently published were adequately detailed.

“They are the products of hard work and detailed thinking that has been going on behind the scenes not just the last few weeks, but for the last 12 months and should form the basis of what I hope will be a constructive week of talks.”

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