UK pushes ‘urgency’ on Brexit deal as EU demands goodwill gesture

World Today

Negotiating the details of the UK’s departure from the European Union are proving troublesome. British Prime Minister Theresa May is using a two-day summit to make the case for accelerating Brexit negotiations. But those talks are deadlocked.

Britain wants to shift focus to trade deals by December. While EU leaders want to see more progress on settling the terms of Britain’s departure.

CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi details the talks from Brussels.

Whether the UK gets anything out of this Summit on Brexit, remains to be seen. Prime Minister May used a dinner at a Brussels summit of the 28-nation bloc to push her call for urgency on trade talks and her promise to treat EU residents well once Britain leaves the EU.

Phase one of the negotiations center on the respective rights of UK and EU citizens, the so-called “divorce bill” to be paid by the UK, and the issue of the Irish border. The second phase of talks will focus on future trade relations between the EU and UK – an area which the UK would prefer to negotiate concurrently.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there are “encouraging” signs of progress in Brexit negotiations and suggested trade talks could begin in December.

But the clock is ticking for negotiators to reach a deal. Britain’s departure from the bloc is less than 18 months away and talks have stalled over terms of the split.

In June 2016 British voters chose to pull their nation out of the EU. The fallout from the referendum has created political chaos in London, but the other EU nations have recovered from the initial shock and appear unified throughout the negotiations. UK Opposition Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly called for the UK and EU to stop posturing.

EU officials say the negotiations need to conclude by November 2018 at the latest to give national parliaments by March 29, 2019, when Britain is due to exit.