Belfast Telegraph

EU's Juncker and Irish Taoiseach say progress needed before Brexit trade talks

European leaders have warned the UK that more progress is needed before Brexit talks can move onto trade.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said a "miracle" would be needed if next month's set of talks address the issue while Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said it was not yet time to "make that call".

The EU has maintained there needs to be "sufficient progress" on citizens' rights, Ireland and the financial settlement before the talks can include a future trade deal.

One day after another round of negotiations ended with some progress in Brussels, Mr Juncker said it was not enough by far for the EU leaders to back moving to the next stage when they meet again in three weeks' time.

"By the end of October we will not have sufficient progress," Mr Juncker said in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

"At the end of this week I am saying that that there will be no sufficient progress from now until October unless miracles would happen."

Mr Varadkar said: "It's still very evident that there's more work to be done.

"We're not yet at the stage where we can say that sufficient progress has been made to allow us to talk about the new relationship and trade."

He said: "I don't know whether we will be able to make that call until later in the month."

The Taoiseach added: "T here's a better vibe and a better mood coming out of the negotiations."

AP

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