EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

President Jean-Claude Juncker said the United Kingdom would have to pay the so-called Brexit divorce bill, which according to estimates, could reach up to 100 billion British pounds ($132 billion) - before they could move negotiations to the next phase.

"If we allow, although this isn't only our thing, Catalonia to secede, others will do the same", said the Commission's chief. That is the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought.

On the question of Britain's "divorce bill" - which he previously suggested could come to around £50 billion - Mr Juncker said: "We can't find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the United Kingdom are concerned".

"Not in an impossible way, I am not in a revenge mood, I am not hitting the British. I'm not hating the British", he concluded.

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Juncker's comments come a day after European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said there was a "disturbing deadlock" over the bill, and not enough progress for leaders to agree at a summit next week to open talks on future relations.

He ruled out discussions on future trade being launched by European Union leaders next week but spoke of possible progress by December.

Speaking about the financial settlement at a press conference in Brussels alongside UK Brexit Secertary David Davis on Thursday, Barnier said: "On this question we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it's disturbing also for taxpayers". "But now they have to pay".

He said: "If you are sitting at a bar and ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues are leaving, it's ok but they have to pay, they have to pay".

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British Prime Minister Theresa May also indicated she might make a move at next week's summit.

"As we look to the October Council next week, I hope the member states will recognize the progress we've made and take a step forward in the spirit of the prime minister's Florence speech".

"This means Great Britain still has it in its own hands whether there will be enough progress so that the second phase of negotiations can be started", he stated.

The EU says this can only happen when there has been progress on the issues of the financial settlement, the rights of citizens affected by Brexit and the status of the Northern Ireland- Ireland border.

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