Michel Barnier Twitter trolls Theresa May and David Davis over Brexit negotiations

Posted On: 
21st August 2017

Michel Barnier has goaded the UK government over the state of the Brexit negotiations ahead of the next round of talks in Brussels.

David Davis and Michel Barnier are at odds over the Brexit negotiation timetable.
PA Images

In a series of tweets clearly aimed at Theresa May and David Davis, the EU's lead negotiator said the bloc's list of demands had been "clear and transparent since day one".

He then went on to list each of the nine so-called "position papers" already published by Brussels.

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Mr Barnier then rounded off the thread by again stressing that it was "essential" that progress is made on the UK's Brexit divorce bill, the Irish border and citizens' rights in next week's talks.

The provocative tweets came as the Government published two more of its own position papers - on goods on the market and the confidentiality of documents - and announced that more will follow throughout the week.

The tweets also appear to be a direct response to a Sunday Times article by David Davis in which he called for talks on Britain's future trading relationship with Europe to begin at the October meeting of the EU Council.

However, Brussels has insisted that agreement must be reached on the UK's financial settlement, the Irish border and citizens' rights first.

Mr David said: "I firmly believe the early rounds of the negotiations have already demonstrated that many questions around our withdrawal are inextricably linked to our future relationship. Both sides need to move swiftly on to discussing our future partnership, and we want that to happen after the European Council in October."

But in an interview with The Guardian, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said that was impossible.

He said: "I think that the process will definitely take more time than we expected at the start of the negotiations. There are so many difficult topics on the table, difficult issues there, that one cannot expect all those issues will be solved according to the schedule made in the first place."

A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "We're confident that we'll have made sufficient progress by October to be able to advance talks to the next phase. That's what David Davis said at the weekend and that's our aim and we're confident that we're working at pace and will be able to get to that point.

"The Prime Minister's view is that both sides need to demonstrate a dynamic and flexible approach to each round of the negotiations. We want to be able to move on to the next stage by European Council in October and that's our aim."