Johnson calls for European Union 'urgency' over stalled Brexit talks

Theresa May

"I would like to say very clearly that the EU is not working on such a scenario", Tusk told the EU Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

However, Barnier said London was failing to spell out just what it was ready to pay.

Asked if the ball was now in the EU's court, the Frenchman replied: "Brexit is not a game".

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.

However, he also acknowledged "new momentum" in negotiations, adding that "decisive progress is in our grasp within the next two months".

Barnier said that there was "deadlock" on the issue of the scale of Britain's financial settlement and that there had been no negotiations on the issue this week.

Deal or no deal is "the fundamental question", he said, after talks made little progress in August.

"It's the responsible approach".

Another senior official said: "There's every reason to be anxious and European industry should take this more seriously".

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Thursday (12 October) that the fifth round of talks with the United Kingdom ended in a "deadlock" over the divorce bill and that he would not propose to European Union leaders next week to move talks onto the trade phase.

But this week's four-day talks have got off to a slow start, with Barnier and his British counterpart David meeting only on the second day of negotiations, where they would normally meet on the first.

The EU insists on progress on Britain's Brexit bill, the rights of three million EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, and the fate of the border in Northern Ireland, before talking trade as Britain wants.

"Over the next few weeks I will explore the way forward, if there is the necessary will, ways of getting out of this deadlock we found ourselves in on the financial issues with the view of making sufficient progress by the next European Council", he said.

"With Boris Johnson as prime minister, the negotiations would be easier", one European Union diplomat said of the foreign secretary, who has sniped at Ms May's push for a deal that could see Britain stay bound by some European Union rules, at least for a transition period.

But though British ministers talk of a "bespoke" deal to exit EU rules while retaining market access, EU officials warn that time is running out for London to find any option other than to agree to something like the status of Norway - being in the EU market and accepting rules on which it has no vote.

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