May says 'very good progress' on citizens' rights in Brexit talks

Merkel taps brake as Macron pushes euro zone reformMore

The EU has estimated that Britain will owe tens of billions of euros (dollars) to cover outstanding liabilities.

The Confederation for British Industry (CBI) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) - which represent 190,000 businesses and 5.8 million workers respectively - on Thursday called for the Prime Minister and EU negotiators to end " 15 months of human poker".

"By the end of October, we will not have sufficient progress", Juncker told reporters in Tallinn, a day after his chief negotiator ended the last round of Brexit talks.

"We have had a constructive week, yes, but we are not yet there in terms of achieving sufficient progress".

Only "miracles" can move Brexit talks far enough to fulfil Britain's hopes of launching discussions next month on its future ties with the European Union, the head of the European Commission said on Friday.

"A week ago I gave a speech in Florence which set out how we have made good progress so far; I thought we could make further progress and moving on to looking at the future deep and special relationship and partnership that we want to build with the European Union when the United Kingdom has left the EU", she told the Reuters news agency.

Representatives of the remaining 27 member states are expected to decide whether to give the go-ahead for the next stage of negotiations when they descend on Brussels for the next meeting of the European Council on October 19.

"We are making decisive steps forward", Davis said, adding that much progress was made on ensuring the rights of citizens who will be hit by Britain's departure.

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The issue of expatriate citizens' rights has become a stumbling block in bilateral talks over Britain's divorce.

Downing Street said Mrs Merkel welcomed the Prime Minister's Florence speech and they had agreed on the need to settle the issue of citizens' rights "at the earliest opportunity".

The Lithuanian president, Dalia GrybauskaitÄ—, said May's Florence speech had provide "a bit more clarity" but that both sides had to accept that the negotiations were "out of shape".

Speaking at the Tapa military base in Estonia this morning, the Prime Minister provided further assurances that Britain remains "unconditionally" committed to the collective defence of Europe.

"We will continue to work with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, our European neighbours and the EU to support a future partnership of unprecedented breadth and depth, that will guarantee the security and stability of the continent for generations to come".

"The PM also stressed it was in everybody's interests to agree to a time-limited implementation [transition] period once Britain leaves the European Union, to provide certainty to businesses and others in both Britain and the European Union".

The letter also said remaining in the single market would be "a mistake".

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