Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, says his country has no plans to walk away from talks despite that there is little hope for progress at this week’s EU summit.
“There are no plans to get up and walk away,” Davis told parliament on Tuesday.
He made the remarks after some lawmakers suggested that the negotiations should end in case the two sides cannot reach an agreement.
The EU ministers who are meeting at the weekend have made it clear that London should make concessions in talks which are mostly focused on the UK’s divorce bill from the bloc.
Only if EU leaders approve there has been “sufficient progress” on these three issues would negotiators be allowed to move towards the more complex issue of future trade ties between the EU and Britain.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier spoke at a press conference last week at the end of a fifth round of Brexit talks with Davis at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels.
“We are at a deadlock on this question which is extremely disturbing,” Barnier said then. “Constructive talks had clarified some points but there had not been any great steps forward on central issues.”
Meanwhile, the British government suggests the talks should move forward and argues that it is ready to resolve the financial implications of Brexit and all other related issues.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech in Florence, Italy, last month to encourage EU leaders to agree that “sufficient progress” has been made on the withdrawal for discussions to turn to trade.
The EU says instead of talking with the UK, its member states are willing to discuss the transition period among themselves.
May invoked the formal notice for EU departure on March 29 to begin the two-year process. She has promised to take the UK out of the EU even if it requires a Hard Brexit.
The talks, however, have stalled on all three of the key Brexit issues – an exit bill, the rights of the EU citizens and the fate of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.