Juncker: Britain Must Pay What It Owns To The EU


Juncker: Britain Must Pay What It Owns To The EU

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he does not back Catalonian independence, fearing others may follow in its footsteps.

But the document, which is subject to change by the leaders of the 27 remaining European Union states, warns that Britain has not made a "firm and concrete" commitment on what Brussels sees as its financial obligations.

Juncker insisted the British "have to pay" if they want talks to begin on a future trade deal between the United Kingdom and the EU. They have to pay, not in an impossible way. "That is the reason why this process will take longer than we initially thought", Juncker said, speaking to a group of students in Luxembourg.

On the question of Britain's "divorce bill" - which he previously suggested could come to around £50 billion - Mr Juncker said: "We can't find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the United Kingdom are concerned".

Mr Barnier and Mr Davis delivered their usual end-of-talk remarks to the press after the fifth round of Brexit talks in Belgium.

"I hope the member states will see the progress we have made and take a step forward" next week, British Brexit envoy David Davis told reporters.

His comments, in a speech in his native Luxembourg, come a day after Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said the failure to make progress on the size of the financial settlement was "very disturbing". They have to pay.

His recommendation has made it all but certain that trade talks will be delayed at least until the end of the year, heightening pressure on the UK Government to make preparations for a possible "no-deal" Brexit.

However, the European Union leaders said upon the completion of the fourth round of negotiations last month, that the progress seen was not enough, but praised a speech by Prime Minister Theresa in Florence, describing it as a step forward.

The Downing Street also announced that the detail of the financial settlement was for the negotiation and that the issue could "only be resolved as part of the settlement of all of the issues that she spoke about in Florence".

"This means Great Britain still has it in its own hands whether there will be enough progress so that the second phase of negotiations can be started", he stated.

The negotiator said he expected the phase one talks - which also include discussions on citizens' rights and Northern Ireland - to be concluded by December.