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The European Union demands the UK to clarify how much it is willing to pay for previous commitments made as a member state. Negotiationg a trade deal will be discussed later, sources say.
Britain will definitely leave the European Union in March 2019. But many of the negotiations on how the future relationship between Brussels and London will look like have not started yet.
These talks could be delayed into next year, analysts believe. The EU negotiators demand Prime Minister Theresa May to clarify what parts of the commitments the country had made as an EU member will it now pay.
“EU countries will not begin drafting guidelines for talks on a possible Brexit transition and future relations unless the UK details what it is willing to pay as part of the divorce”, the EU Observer wrote.
Further delays in the difficult negotiations are expected. A Bloomberg editorial article explains two other clarifications the EU asks for. “The rights of EU citizens in Britain after March 2019 and the future of the Northern Irish border. These are complicated and important questions, but the interests of both sides are reasonably well aligned on these issues”.
UK's Brexit secretary David Davis said he hopes the December European Council meeting will help “progressing discussions to the next stage”.
But there seems to be unanimity among EU27 members that the UK has to first pay the bill of long and short-term financial commitments before moving to other negotiations.
This final separation agreement will need to be approved by the European Parliament.