Saturday 16 December 2017

'It's time to get this Brexit thing done' - Boris Johnson says to EU leaders

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (Pavel Neubauer/TASR via AP)
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (Pavel Neubauer/TASR via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said it's time to ramp up the pace of Brexit talks after the European Union's chief negotiator said they were deadlocked over money.

"We're looking for some urgency from our friends and partners, time to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done," he told reporters.

He also said he had a message for Polish people in Britain: You are welcome to stay in Britain after Brexit.

"I want to repeat the key message to the one million Poles here in our country: You are here to stay. You are welcome," Johnson said at a news conference in London beside Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.

Britain also needs to prepare for the possibility that no agreement will be reached with the European Union on a Brexit deal, he added.

"The prime minister has made it very, very clear that we are going to get a deal, we are working for a great deal, but obviously we must make the right preparations as and when it is necessary for a no deal scenario.

"Of course that's the responsible thing to do and that's what we are going to do."

His comments follow David Davis, the Brexit secretary, heaping pressure on European Union leaders to grant chief negotiator Michel Barnier the flexibility to begin talks over EU-UK trade and a possible transition deal at crunch summit in Brussels next week.

Mr Barnier was given a mandate by the 27 heads of state and government to helm the Brexit talks on their behalf but it restricts him from discussing the future relationship until the EU judges that “sufficient progress” has been made on the issues of the so-called Brexit bill, citizens’ rights and Ireland.

Talks are deadlocked after five rounds of pressured negotiations with huge divisions between the two camps, especially over the so-called Brexit bill, despite Theresa May’s offering to pay €20 billion  to the EU budget in her Florence speech.

Reuters

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