30/08/2017 - Little Progress From Brexit Talks


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker joined the bloc’s chief negotiator in lashing out at the U.K. for failing to prepare for Brexit talks, as the third round of negotiations looked set to produce little progress.

The stage had already been set for an intense round of negotiations after chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis met on Monday for the first time since July and candidly aired their frustration at each other’s approaches. Barnier said time was running out, as the U.K. continued in its bid to change the order of topics discussed.

“We must start negotiating seriously,” Barnier told reporters as he stood alongside Davis before their meeting on Monday. “The sooner we remove the ambiguity the sooner we will be able to discuss the future relationship and a transitional period.”

The U.K.’s bill remains the biggest stumbling block, and while the U.K. has accepted it will pay something, Davis appears determined not to tell the EU where it accepts it’s on the hook. He told the BBC that this was part of his negotiators’ “constructive ambiguity” approach to try to obtain a better deal.

The U.K. also argues that the key issue of the U.K’s future border with the EU, running through the divided island of Ireland, will be easier to sort once the future relationship is clear.

Undeterred by Juncker’s comments, the U.K. said on Tuesday it will continue to produce position papers in the coming weeks. “We believe we are in a good position and we would like to move on to discuss our future relationship,” May’s spokeswoman Alison Donnelly told reporters in London.


U.S. President Donald Trump said that “all options” are under consideration in response to North Korea firing an unidentified ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday as Kim Jong Un’s latest provocation rattled markets.

“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday before flying to Texas. “Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world,” according to the statement. “All options are on the table.”

The White House said in a statement that Trump and Abe agreed that North Korea poses “a grave and growing direct threat” to the U.S., Japan, South Korea and countries around the world. The two agreed to try to increase international pressure on Pyongyang.

U.S. stocks rebounded from earlier losses sparked by the missile launch as investors speculated the event wouldn’t lead to a wider conflagration. Haven assets from Treasuries to gold remained higher.

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