EU's Barnier: No big progress on Brexit since March

Operation Atalanta which focuses on protecting ships in Somalia from pirates is run from Northwood in London

Operation Atalanta which focuses on protecting ships in Somalia from pirates is run from Northwood in LondonSTEPHANE DE SAKUTIN AFP GETTY IMAGES

Less than a year ahead of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, or Brexit day in March 2019, the EU's top negotiator Michel Barnier has revealed that there has been "little, or very little" progress in talks about the conditions for the United Kingdom to leave.

Barnier's statement has come before a government Brexit meeting, called by the British Prime Minister on May 15.

"More work is needed to prepare for the UK's orderly withdrawal..."

"We are concerned that there is no clear stance, no clear position from the British".

The current schedule puts progress in June as an important step towards a final Brexit deal in October, which would leave enough time for an elaborate European Union ratification process before the Brexit day. "The clock is ticking", German EU Minister Michael Roth told his EU peers meeting in Brussels.

"Now we need to make significant progress, but that never happens - admitted Mouth".

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As reported by the Independent, the renewed deadlock in Brussels comes as Theresa May's cabinet repeatedly fails to agree with itself on what customs arrangement it wants with the European Union after Brexit, despite publishing two options in August of past year. It would see Britain collect tariffs on behalf of Brussels on goods from non-EU countries set to be re-exported to the continent. Under a second idea, for a streamlined customs arrangement, traders on an approved list would be able to cross borders freely with the aid of automated technology.

Barnier and the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini meanwhile both welcomed British proposals on a future security partnership with the EU.

The EU says Britain must agree to a workable solution to the question of how to avoid a hard border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland by the June 28-29 summit. It would make a lot of other problems that are hard to solve right now...

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said it was too early to discuss an extension of the timeline, but added: "The aim is now to conclude a deal in the time schedule that has been agreed on ..."

"I wish above anything that we get a concrete proposal".

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