Brexit progress needed by early December to unlock talks -EU's Tusk


European Council president Donald Tusk has set a deadline of the start of December for Britain to make further movement on its Brexit divorce bill and the future of the Irish border.

But he said the United Kingdom must demonstrate more progress on the "divorce bill" and the Irish border by early next month.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and European Council President Donald Tusk pose before a bilateral meeting at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 20, 2017.

"We've agreed that good progress has been made".

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On Friday May said the talks, which had been deadlocked for some time over the size of the bill, the question of European Union citizens' rights and what was to be done about Ireland, had shown "good progress".

But Mr Coveney was emphatic when he said that, while Ireland also wanted to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks with London, we are "not now in a place that allows us to do that".

Mr Tusk said he and Mrs May agreed to meet again on November 24 "to assess the situation in more detail".

"But in order to do that we need to see more progress from the United Kingdom side". If there is no sufficient progress by then I will not be in a position to propose new guidelines at a future relationship at the December European Council.

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"Of course we want to move forward together, talking about the trade issues and trade partnership for the future", she said. He stressed that the British government "needs to clarify what they mean about the financial responsibility".

"We've been given assurances that there will be no hard border in Ireland, that there won't be any physical infrastructure, that we won't go back to the borders of the past", Varadkar said.

"I think it would be in all of our interests that we proceed to phase two in December", he said.

"It's 18 months since the (Brexit) referendum. Sometimes it doesn't seem like they've thought all of this through".

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