European Union says little progress made in Brexit talks with Britain

EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker speaks in the European Parliament

May said then that the other 27 countries would not lose out financially from Brexit in the current European Union budget period to 2020 and that Britain would honor commitments - but Barnier said London was failing to say exactly what it was ready to pay.

He said: "The British are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems".

"The Brexit process will last longer than we anticipated", Juncker said.

"We can not find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the United Kingdom are concerned". They have to pay, not in an impossible way.

His comments, in a speech in his native Luxembourg, come a day after Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said the failure to make progress on the size of the financial settlement was "very disturbing".

He said: "My mandate looked ahead to these different stages.Slowly but surely, over the next few weeks, I will explore ways of getting out of this deadlock we find ourselves in on the financial issues with a view to making sufficient progress by the next European Council". London has been hoping and pressing for this to happen at the summit.

Mr Barnier said the financial settlement had not even been the subject of negotiations during four days of talks this week because the United Kingdom was not prepared to indicate how much it was willing to pay. Some even say Britain should walk away from the negotiations if the European Union does not agree to start the next phase by the end of the year.

The British government is under pressure from euroskeptic lawmakers to increase planning for a "no deal" Brexit, in which the United Kingdom leaves the bloc without a trade agreement.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC: "The Tories' Repeal Bill is simply not fit for goal".

"Theresa May must start listening to the legitimate concerns of Labour and some of her own MPs by urgently changing approach".

Apart from Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also threw their support behind Spain amid the crisis.

The negotiator said he expected the phase one talks - which also include discussions on citizens' rights and Northern Ireland - to be concluded by December.

"But I have to say that the idea that it's as simplistic as ordering a pint of beer and then not paying for it is quite ridiculous". If we interfere, situation becomes much more complicated, "he said".

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