No breakthrough as May tries to revive Brexit talks with EU leaders
BRUSSELS — European leaders rebuffed British Prime Minister Theresa May’s pitch to revive stalled Brexit talks on Thursday, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was confident negotiations would advance by December.
The Brexit talks are running in circles: Officials from the other 27 European countries say they need more specifics on which past spending pledges the U.K. will commit to before talks can progress to Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU. London, however, doesn’t want to yield on money until it has assurances on the shape of Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU.
Over dinner with the other EU leaders, May didn’t budge on the issue of money. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said “there were no new proposals.”
Slow progress at what was supposed to be a key moment underlines how May’s political weakness is complicating talks, sowing uncertainty for businesses in the U.K. With less than a year-and-a-half until the U.K. is expected to leave the bloc, any failure to reach a deal is likely to cause enormous disruptions for businesses that rely on unrestricted trade between the U.K. and the EU. Such a scenario could pose big risks to the U.K. and European economies.