EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the UK will “have to pay” if Brexit negotiations are to progress to trade talks.
Amid the ongoing deadlock in discussions over Britain’s financial settlement, the European Commission President warned the UK it must reach an agreement on money before being able to negotiate its post-Brexit relationship.
Mr Juncker also suggested Brexit will “take longer than initially thought” as he said the remaining 27 EU member states will not sanction the start of the second phase of talks at a Brussels summit next week.
“We cannot find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned,” Mr Juncker said, while speaking to students in his native Luxembourg.
“As we are not able to do this we will not be able to say in the European Council in October that now we can move to the second phase of negotiations.
“Things have to be done, one has to deliver. If you are sitting in a bar and if you are ordering 28 beers, and then suddenly some of your colleagues is leaving and he is not paying, that is not feasible.
“They have to pay, they have to pay, not in an impossible way.”
But Mr Juncker insisted he is “not in a revenge mood” and “not hating the British”, adding: “The Europeans have to be so grateful for so many things Britain has brought to Europe.”
Included in leaked draft conclusions for the 19 October European Council summit, the document revealed Mr Barnier could soon be invited to discuss the EU27’s position on the second phase of negotiations ahead of the potential sanctioning of trade talks at December’s summit.