EU's Brexit negotiator tells United Kingdom to 'get serious'

Mrs May said the agreements could be signed the moment Britain leaves the EU's customs union

We must start negotiating seriously.

The UK Government has spent the last month issuing "position papers" laying out the British position on certain Brexit issues - but some issues, including the question of the so-called "divorce bill" for leaving, have been notable by their omission so far.

Barnier added: "To be honest, I'm concerned, time passes quickly".

The EU's chief negotiator insisted Britain's position on key divorce issues remained unclear, hence, his concern about slow progress.

As Barnier said he was "ready to intensify negotiations", Davis replied that the Brits were "ready to roll up [their] sleeves".

She added: "We have just begun the third round today; we felt the first two rounds were positive and constructive, and as you've seen over the summer we've published numerous position papers, as well as future partnership papers".

"Both sides must be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to solving areas where we disagree", the source said.

He said there was a need to be "crystal clear" that negotiations on the new post Brexit relationship, particularly the economic and trade relationship, would not be carried out before issues relating to financial obligations, citizens rights and Ireland are dealt with. "We need United Kingdom positions on all separation issues", Barnier said during a media conference.

The clarification of position by the opposition piles pressure on British Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit Secretary David Davis, ahead of the resumption of talks in Brussels on Monday.

More news: Let's have that debate over paying for the border wall, Mr

The government is hoping the next round of talks, in September, will achieve sufficient progress to convince EU27 leaders to signal at the European council in October that talks can move on.

"We want to lock in the points where we agree, unpick the areas where we disagree, and make further progress on a range of issues", he said Monday.

However, writing in The Observer, Mr Starmer said a Labour government would abide by "the same basic terms" of Britain's current European Union membership during the transition - which could last as long as four or five years.

Starmer lamented the "glacial pace of progress in the first two rounds of talks", and said: "Labour would seek a transitional deal that maintains the same basic terms that we now enjoy with the EU".

In Brussels, Davis said that the "large number of papers" put out by his government covered important issues and that they were the "product of hard work and detailed thinking".

Barnier, he said, had firm instructions from the other 27 governments on the phasing of talks, even if he accepted that some issues could not be fully settled without knowing how trade will work.

The UK is set to leave the European Union by the end of March 2019, following last year's referendum vote.

Starmer said: "There's a growing consensus on both sides of the Channel that it's extremely unlikely that a bespoke transitional period can be negotiated, agreed and implemented by March 2019".

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