EU blasts Theresa May: Brexit is no ball game

Written by Emilio Casalicchio on 9 October 2017 in News

The Prime Minister is set to warn European leaders that Britain will not make a single further concession until they move on to discussions about a future trade deal

Theresa May: Picture credit - Scott Heppell/PA

The EU today hit back at Theresa May as she prepared to declare “the ball is in their court” when it comes to unblocking the stalemate of Brexit negotiations.

Ahead of the fifth round of talks the Prime Minister is set to warn European leaders that Britain will not make a single further concession until they move on to discussions about a future trade deal.


RELATED CONTENT 


But the European Commission insisted “the ball is entirely in the UK court” and blasted British negotiators for failing to find a solution “on step one”.

Brussels has dictated that talks cannot move onto the future trading relationship or the nature of an interim arrangement until key factors of the UK exit have been hammered out.

Those include the so-called Brexit ‘divorce bill’ of UK liabilities, the nature of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and the status of EU nationals still living in Britain.

In her landmark speech in Florence last month, the Prime Minister refused to put a figure on the table for the divorce settlement but for the first time insisted she wanted a transitional deal.

In an update to the House of Commons today, she will add: "As we look forward to the next stage, the ball is in their court. But I am optimistic we will receive a positive response.”

But at a press conference this morning, Commission spokesman Magritas Schinas said: “This is not exactly a ball game.”

He added: “There’s a clear sequencing of these talks and there’s been so far no solution found on step one.

“So the ball is entirely in the UK court for the rest to happen.”

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said today: "The [Florence] speech was intended to create momentum. We believe we are seeing that momentum, but let's see what will happen in the next round of talks."

The UK government will publish two white papers today on trade and customs, the spokesperson said would form part of "a series of Bills in relation to exiting the European Union". 

Elsewhere, Brexit Secretary David Davis has come under fire after it emerged he would no travel to Brussels today to kick off the fifth round of talks with the EU.

Labour MP Peter Kyle - who supports the pro-EU Open Britain campaign - fumed: “Theresa May says the ball is in the EU’s court, yet David Davis can’t even be bothered to pick up his racket.”

He added: “David Davis needs to pull his socks up, get on the Eurostar, and negotiate for Britain rather than posture in London.”

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Q&A with Alison Thewliss MP
18 October 2017

The Glasgow MP has campaigned vociferously on the issue of the government's revised tax credit policy restricting new claimants to two children

Living standards to be hit as inflation rises to five year high
17 October 2017

Inflation increased to three per cent in September, according to ONS figures published today

Peers 'could be limited' to serving 15 years in House of Lords
17 October 2017

A committee tasked with proposing reforms will next month suggest the time limit as a way of reducing the cost of the House

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker say Brexit talks must be 'accelerated'
17 October 2017

Brexit negotiations between the UK and European Union must be "accelerated", Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker have said

Share this page