Brexit minister David Davis dismisses Michel Barnier's two-week divorce bill deadline

 
Lynsey Barber
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David Davis has said there is no expectation of a divorce bill sum (Source: Getty)

Brexit secretary David Davis has dismissed a two-week deadline set by EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier for clarity on a Brexit "divorce" bill.

"In any negotiation, each side tries to control the timetable," said Davis, speaking to Sky News, adding that there was no expectation in the coming weeks of any number on how much the UK owes Europe upon leaving the bloc.

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"The real deadline on this of course is December... they invented this phrase sufficient progress, it's in their control as to what it really is... we'll do this sequencing but don't imagine you'll have a number or formula by the end of it, we'll get towards that process but you won't have a number or formula before we move onto the next stage," he said.

"They accepted that," he added.

Barnier insisted on Friday after the latest round of negotiations that the UK needed to provide clarity on how much it would pay or put at risk the talks moving on to the next stage, expected to be focused on trade, by the end of the year.

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Meanwhile, in an interview with a French publication over the weekend, Barnier raised the prospect that an agreement may not be reached.

He said it was "not [his] option but "it is a possibility" and that "everybody has to prepare for it" speaking to the Journal du Dimanche.

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