The European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier has laid out his guidelines for talks with the UK as the country prepares to leave the trading bloc.
He told a press conference in Brussels the negotiations will not be “painless” and “will take time”.
However, he said there would be no “punishment” or an “exit tax” for the UK following it’s vote to leave the group in June last year but that the EU planned to be “transparent”.
Barnier said he wanted the EU and the UK to put all their efforts into reaching a deal with the UK and that the negotiations proceed in an orderly fashion.
As soon as the UK is ready to come to the table we will start negotiating.
Barnier: EU should remain cool-headed and solutions-oriented… on track for orderly exit. UK decision has caused 10 months uncertainty
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) May 3, 2017
Earlier today the Financial Times reported the EU had raised its opening demand for Britain’s Brexit bill to an upfront gross payment of up to €100bn ($109bn), from around €60bn that was expected previously.
The FT said the increased bill was being driven by France and Germany, though there were “direct requests from several member states” to increase the bill. The UK’s liabilities could be increased to cover post-Brexit farm payments and EU administration fees in 2019 and 2020.
However Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK would pay what was legally due, “not just what the EU wants”.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain Davis said the UK treated its EU “rights and obligations” seriously but he had not see a final number from the EU.