EU's Barnier: No big progress on Brexit since March

EU's Barnier: No big progress on Brexit since March

According to Reuters, diplomats and EU officials noted the lack of progress in negotiations on Brexit with London since the last meeting of EU leaders, voicing doubts about the fact that Britain and the EU will be able to reach important decisions in this matter to the next high-level summit which will be held on 28-29 June 2018.

Barnier said the "two key points where there is a risk of failure" is the Irish issue, and the governance of any future Brexit deal, which Britain says must be out of the hands of the EU's top court.

Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Bulgarian minister who chaired the meeting, said: "The council was informed that not much progress has been made since the European Council in March".

However, the current model for third country participation offers a more limited role for the United Kingdom after Brexit than that envisaged by the government, it noted.

She said "substantial progress" needs to be made on the issue of the Irish border by June, saying that the solutions proposed by the United Kingdom government so far would "mean a hard border".

But the UK Government's hopes of settling on a scheme acceptable to Brussels were dealt a blow when Bulgaria - the current holder of the European Council's six-month presidency - said that neither option would avoid the need for a hard border.

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"Michel Barnier has made it very clear, and I agree with him, that there will be no withdrawal treaty if there isn't a backstop dealing with the Irish border in that treaty", he said.

The deal could include regular British-EU foreign policy talks, cooperation on military and aid missions, cooperation on defence projects and intelligence sharing, Barnier said. "We have only had first exploratory discussions", he said.

The current schedule sets progress for the talks in June as an important step towards a final Brexit deal in October, leaving enough time for an elaborate European Union ratification process before Britain is expected to leave the bloc in March next year, the officials said. We will still share the same region.

European Union political leaders are keen on keeping the closest possible security relations with London, one of the world's leading powers in intelligence and crime-fighting.

EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions have contributed significantly to United Kingdom foreign policy, she added, citing Operation Atalanta, the EU's flagship anti-piracy operation which Britain leads, as a good example.

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