Following the conclusion of the fifth round of talks in Brussels on Thursday, The European Union said talks hit another deadlock over the financial obligations of the UK upon exiting the bloc, thus increasing the chances of a messy departure as time runs out to clinch a deal.
• Defense from both sides
EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that, a “No deal will be a very bad deal, huh? And to be clear on our side we will be ready to face any eventualities and all eventualities”.
On the question of the financial settlement, he said “we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it’s disturbing also for taxpayers.”
The European side insisted that “the responsibility falls on the U.K’s shoulder to unlock talks and that while “decisive progress is within our grasp in the next two months”, it was entirely up to Prime Minister Theresa May’s team to bring its political firepower”. That will be hard in a government constantly at war with itself on the direction of Brexit.
While the EU assumes a position that indicates “there’s no question of making concessions”, Brexit Secretary David Davis said, “I make no secret of the fact that to provide certainty, we must talk about the future.”
• Further decision rests on the remaining members of bloc
The prevailing stalemate, however, puts the onus on the EU’s 27 remaining leaders to decide whether enough progress has been made before starting discussions on a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK when they meet in Brussels next week or any other alternative that could defeat the impasse.
The next saving grace for the Brexit fate will be during the Dec. 14 summit of EU leaders.