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Theresa May urges EU to make progress on Brexit talks amid reports of deadlock | Politics | The Guardian

foto: Theresa May on board the Japanese navy’s helicopter carrier JS Izumo during a visit to Yokosuka naval base on Thursday. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images – Theresa May urges EU to make progress on Brexit talks amid reports of deadlock. The prime minister says a good trade deal would be important for business throughout the EU, not just in Britain – Press Association

Theresa May has urged Brussels to make progress on trade talks with Britain amid reports of a deadlock in negotiations.

The European Union wants to nail down the divorce settlement, including an exit bill, before agreeing to future trading relations.

During a visit to Japan, the prime minister said “significant” discussions were still needed to agree on Britain’s obligations, indicating there were no plans to row back on the government’s Brexit strategy.

Her comments came amid reports that British officials increasingly believe EU negotiators are tied by a rigid template and are incapable of carrying out the Brexit negotiations.

Officials from the Brexit department are understood to believe their opposite numbers on the EU side do not have a mandate to negotiate effectively, according to Sky News.

The broadcaster reported that the consequence of this, from the view of the British side, is deadlock, with EU officials setting out their position on various issues and then waiting for the British to move to that position.

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted on Wednesday: “Negotiations ongoing: #EUCO guidelines are designed for serious and constructive negotiations, but we need clear #UK positions on all issues.”

Meanwhile, in Japan, May said: “I think a good trade deal is not just about the UK, it is about what is good for businesses in what will be the 27 remaining states of the EU as well.

“I think it is in all our interest to move on to those trade talks and to get a good deal.”

She added: “I have always said that the United Kingdom recognises we are a law-abiding country, we will meet our obligations but there are still significant discussions to be had on what that should be.

“I think progress on discussing a trade deal is not only going to be good for the United Kingdom, it would be good for the European Union.”

May dismissed criticism from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that Britain has failed to set out detailed proposals for what it wants to secure, insisting the government has done a “significant amount of work”.

The PM said her Lancaster House speech, which critics claimed amounted to a hard Brexit, was still the basis of the government’s position.

“The article 50 letter built on the Lancaster House speech,” she added.

“We have had publications since that continue to build on aspects of the Lancaster House speech. There has been no change – that has continued.”

Brexit secretary David Davis will continue negotiations with the EU on Thursday, on the final day of this week’s round of meetings in Brussels.

Tony Blair will also be in Brussels, visiting Juncker. Ukip said the former prime minister will use the meeting to inform the EU president that Labour is “ready to change sides and help the EU undermine” May.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels the meeting was “certainly not part of a conspiracy” to undermine Brexit.

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Sorgente: Theresa May urges EU to make progress on Brexit talks amid reports of deadlock | Politics | The Guardian

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