Thursday 20 July 2017

EU braced for Brexit 'crisis' over escalating rhetoric

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Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

EU negotiators are preparing for a "big crisis" that could see the UK walk away from Brexit talks in the coming months.

Tensions have risen during the UK election campaign as Prime Minister Theresa May sought to set out a hard-line position on Brexit.

However, her domestic "rhetoric" has led to fears among some EU bureaucrats that she is gearing up for "a big row" once so-called divorce talks get under way later this month.

In particular there are concerns the UK will refuse to engage in the financial settlement which reports say could be up to €100bn.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, has highlighted this as one of the first issues to be resolved along with citizens' rights and the Irish question.Mrs May called the election with a view to strengthening her majority in order to give herself more room to manoeuvre in the Brexit talks.

However, the latest polls suggest she will not make the substantial gains expected six weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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