Another leader of an EU27 country has said not enough progress has been made during Brexit talks to open up discussions to trade this autumn.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Bloomberg TV said some progress had been made around the question of the Irish border - which he insists must remain open after the UK leaves the EU - but more needed to be done before talks could be broadened out.
“We’re not satisfied with the progress that has been made so far,” Varadkar said. “We hope more progress can be made, but to date progress has not been sufficient.”
Yesterday Slovenian Prime Minister Milo Celar said lack of progress meant the European Council would block any decision to open up the talks to include trade - something which businesses are eager to see amid fears of a "cliff edge" if agreements aren't in place in time.
Varadkar, who is in Canada to observe the frictionless border with the US as a possible model, added that he was "confused and puzzled" about the UK's position, which he characterised as taking all the benefits of being in the EU without paying any of the costs or holding any responsibilities towards the bloc.
“That’s not a realistic position,” he said. “What trade agreement does the U.K. want with the EU? At the moment, they have the best trade deal imaginable. What are these better deals the U.K. really wants from Europe and other countries? Some more clarity would be helpful."