UK 'believes the EU needs to show some more imagination and flexibility' in Brexit talks

UK 'believes the EU needs to show some more imagination and flexibility' in Brexit talks

Brexit talks are continuing in Brussels after the European Commission president criticised the British Government's handling of the country's departure from the EU.

The third day of negotiations opened after Jean-Claude Juncker said it was "crystal clear" that an "enormous amount" of issues needed to be settled before talks on a future trade deal could begin.

Mr Junker said the UK "hesitates showing all its cards" but said "none" of the Government's position papers was "satisfactory".

His rebuke to the approach being taken by British Prime Minister Theresa May and the UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis came after Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was concerned about the lack of clarity and insisted "we must start negotiating seriously".

Downing Street said on Tuesday that further position papers will be published next week and defended the UK's approach to the talks.

"We believe we are in a good position and would like to move on to discuss our future relationship," a Number 10 spokeswoman said.

European leaders are expected to decide in October whether talks have progressed enough to move on to future arrangements and Downing Street said next Thursday's meeting between Mr Barnier and Mr Davis would give an indication of the state of play.

"Let's see what David Davis has to say on Thursday," the spokeswoman said.

The UK wants trade talks to take place at the same time as discussions on separating the UK from the bloc.

The spokeswoman said: "As David Davis said, we believe we need the EU to show some more imagination and flexibility when it comes to these discussions.

"The talks this week are technical, before we move on to more substantive talks in September."

The UK has yet to publish a position paper on its approach to financial obligations - the so-called divorce bill.

"We have published a number of papers on a few specific themes. There are more papers to come in the coming weeks."

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