United Kingdom given two-week ultimatum to make Brexit concessions

Michel Barnier

The UK must provide clarification on its position on the Brexit financial settlement within the next two weeks, the EU's chief negotiator has insisted.

Mr Barnier gave United Kingdom officials a two-week deadline to clarify how much Britain is willing to pay before it leaves the union.

"Those are the things that are coming to the fore and the European Union is basically saying that 'if you don't honor some of those previous commitments, then we might be looking at a harder Brexit as well, and we might not want to have such a great trade relationship with you in the future, either, '" she told Sputnik. We too are making technical preparations for it.

Barnier emphasized that "this is an essential condition to reach sufficient progress in December", and that the issue is one of "settling the accounts". These countries have incredibly close trading ties with the UK.

"We respect the European Union desire to protect the legal order of the single market and the customs union, but that can not come at a cost to the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom", Davis told reporters.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais also reported on Sunday that Brussels was working on Brexit contingency plans, citing an internal document describing a Brexit preparedness group that has begun working in parallel with the bloc's negotiating team.

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Barnier also said both sides had to work towards an "objective interpretation" of May's pledge that no member of the European Union would lose out financially as a result of the Brexit vote.

"We have heard it argued by some that we can not start preparations on the basis of "No Deal" because that would undermine our obligation of "sincere co-operation" with the EU".

Mr Gove said he had a duty to ensure his department was "ready for every eventuality" in the talks over Britain's exit.

The prime minister said the decision to put the specific time of Brexit on the front page of the bill showed the government was determined to see the process through. The UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis has said it is time for both sides "to work to find solutions".

Mr Eustice said the Government is doing "lots of scenario planning" so that Britain will cope if it does not get a deal with the EU.

Davis said: "If we're at this point with no deal, we'll know it's coming for a while and we'll take measures [to secure] a bare bones deal or a minimalist deal. We'll make sure that doesn't happen".

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