European Union says Brexit talks 'deadlocked' but progress possible

David Davis and Michel Barnier

The U.K.'s representative, David Davis, said that technical talks over the so-called exit bill were "rigorous" and worked out in a way that will allow for an agreement in the future.

But he said that it was "important to recognise the significant progress we've made since June". "And to be clear on our side we will be ready to face any eventualities and all eventualities", the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

"The next step in this progress is the European Council in October and we would like them to give Michel the means to broaden the mandate".

So, while today's round was previously billed as a potential breakthrough moment that would see discussions open on the future UK-EU relationship, few were holding out hope for that today.

Mr Corbyn said: "The danger is we will get to March 2019 with no deal, we fall out of the European Union, we go on to World Trade Organisation rules and there will be threats to a lot of jobs all across Britain".

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Around one third of the negotiating time has already elapsed.

Barnier described the stalemate as "very disturbing" and added that he was advising leaders that not enough progress had been made to move on to trade negotiations.

But he added: 'This week, however, the United Kingdom repeated that it was still not ready to spell out these commitments.

"There have been.no negotiations on this subject".

Mindful that the clock is ticking, Barnier reaffirmed that parting with "no deal will be a very bad deal".

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The British government is under pressure from euroskeptic lawmakers to increase planning for a "no deal" Brexit, without a trade agreement.

A fifth round of negotiations is being held this week, with talks bogged down in details of the divorce settlement, including the amount of money Britain owes the bloc.

Keir Starmer said crashing out without a deal "would be catastrophic for jobs and living standards and must be rejected as a viable option".

The European Union's Brexit negotiator says that little progress was made with the U.K.in a fifth round of talks on the country's departure from the EU in March 2019.

Lawless reported from London.

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