Michel Barnier tells EU members states trade talks will be delayed over Brexit bill

Helen Cahill
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The EU's negotiator in Brexit talks has said discussions over the UK's future relationship with the bloc are likely to be delayed, according to reports.

Michel Barnier has warned that trade talks may have to be pushed back because the two sides cannot agree on the UK's financial settlement, Reuters reported.

Read more: Britons increasingly see the Single Market as a Brexit priority

Barnier briefed EU ambassadors from the remaining 27 member states on Wednesday on the progress of Brexit talks.

The EU had hoped to start negotiations on future trading with the UK in October, but Barnier has also said the so-called "Brexit bill" must be agreed upon first.

After the second round of talks with Brexit secretary David Davis, Barnier said there were still a significant number of issues that need to be ironed out.

Davis also admitted there was still "a lot left to talk about" on the issue of the bill.

At a press briefing in Brussels today, the EU Commission implied Britain was to blame for slowing down the negotiations.

Read more: Barnier: Don't use Brexit to slash taxes and red tape

A European Commission spokeswoman said: "So far limited progress has been achieved in the negotiations, but we however stand ready.

"And President Juncker has asked specifically the taskforce on Article 50 to be available every day throughout the coming weeks, throughout the month of August, to engage with our British counterparts should the UK wish to substantiate their position in some of the cases where it has not happened yet.

"The Commission stands ready, we are ready, we are ready to work."

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