Jean-Claude Juncker thanks UK for war effort but says it will 'have to pay' to end Brexit deadlock

Posted On: 
13th October 2017

Jean-Claude Juncker has said the UK will "have to pay" in order to end the deadlock which has hit the Brexit negotiations.

Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that the UK will 'have to pay' to break the Brexit deadlock.
PA Images

The European Commission president warned that the talks "will take longer than initially thought" because of Britain's refusal to accept the EU's divorce bill demands.

He also insisted he was not motivated by "revenge" for the result of the EU referendum - and thanks the UK for helping Europe during the war.

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His comments, in a speech in his native Luxembourg, come a day after Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said the failure to make progress on the size of the financial settlement was "very disturbing".

He said that was the main reason why talks on the future trading relationship between the EU and UK will not be able to begain until December at the earliest.

Mr Juncker said: "The British are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems. That's the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought.

"We cannot find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned.

"As we are not able to do this we will not be able to say in the European Council in October that now we can move to the second phase of negotiations.

"They have to pay, they have to pay, not in an impossible way. I'm not in a revenge mood. I'm not hating the British. The Europeans have to be grateful for so many things Britain has brought to Europe before war, during war, after war. But not they have to pay."

A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "The Prime Minister has been clear all along that we need to reach a settlement and we will honour our commitments that we have made during our period of membership of the EU. The details are for negotiations."