BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The European Union and the United Kingdom have just begun the third round of Brexit negotiations, the European Commission said Monday.
"3rd round of negotiations just started," the European Commission said on its Twitter page.
#Brexit — 3rd round of negotiations just started. @MichelBarnier: "We must start negotiating seriously. We need UK papers that are clear" pic.twitter.com/vjTfALLXzK— European Commission (@EU_Commission) 28 августа 2017 г.
Before opening the meeting, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expressed his concerns with the progress of negotiations. The EU official said that the European Commission had carefully examined UK's proposals regarding the withdrawal from the bloc, but noted that the papers on various separation issues lacked clarity.
Barnier stressed that the sides should "start negotiating seriously," adding that the European Union would not accept insufficient solution of all Brexit-related issues. He also expressed readiness to intensify negotiations in the coming weeks.
"I'm ready to intensify negotiations over the coming weeks in order to advance," Barnier said at a joint press statement with UK Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis as the third round of Brexit negotiations began in Brussels.
Barnier stressed that he was concerned about the way the Brexit negotiations were being carried out, pointing at the need for a clear position of the United Kingdom on all withdrawal issues.
"To be honest, I'm concerned, time passes quickly. I welcome the UK government's paper, and we have read them very carefully. But we need UK positions on all separation issues. This is necessary to make sufficient progress… We need UK papers that are clear in order to have constructive negotiations," EU chief Brexit negotiator stated.The third round is expected to focus on a range of issues including border with Ireland, UK's Brexit bill and post-Brexit EU-UK relations. The talks will last until August 31.
Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union officially kicked off on June 19, and are due to be completed by the end of March 2019.