Cable Dumps'n'Pumps As EU Official Says No Brexit Talks Breakthrough

Tyler Durden's picture

Brexit talks yielded no breakthrough on the financial settlement, and discussions focused on the issue of citizens’ rights, where the two sides are hoping for progress, an EU official told reporters.

Bloomberg notes that the anonymous official added that no breakthrough was expected on the bill, as that would require high-level political input, and as Citi notes, this meeting was meant to be more of a discussion anyway, with no expectations of an overall proposal being finalized.

The EU is piling the pressure on the UK to agree the divorce settlement as Brexit negotiations resumed in Brussels. In EU parlance, it appears that the term for this is the “moment of clarification”, which only makes us despise EU bureaucrats even more. Our suspicion is that, with the UK keen to settle the money issue and move on to trade talks, the EU sees an opportunity to take advantage of political turmoil in the UK, as the talks reaching their most critical stage. According to AFP.

The European Union on Thursday warned Britain to reach a divorce deal by the end of the month to guarantee moving to trade negotiations, as Brexit talks resumed in Brussels. Fears are growing in Brussels that the chaotic political situation in London after Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a string of ministerial resignations will hamper the chances of reaching a deal on key issues, especially Britain's contentious exit bill. EU leaders had hoped to officially approve the next phase on future relations and a transition period at a summit in December, but officials are increasingly concerned that deadline could slip to February or March.


"Time is pressing," chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said in a speech in Rome on Thursday before flying back to Brussels to start the sixth round of the slow-moving talks. "The European Council summit in October wanted to keep up the dynamic of the negotiations and I am of the same state of mind," Barnier said. "But the real moment of clarification is coming."

Adding to the pressure is that this round of talks is confined to two days, rather than the normal four. Barnier and Britain’s Brexit Secretary, David Davis, will only meet on Friday morning, after which they will hold a press conference. As we’ve said on numerous occasions, the EU is believed to be demanding 60 billion Euros compared to the UK’s offer of about 40 billion Euros. However, earlier this month, Davis appeared to signal that the UK would increase its offer – see “UK Will Compromise On Divorce Bill To Accelerate Brexit Negotiations” here).

In the last two weeks, Prime Minister, Theresa May’s tenuous grip on power has been further undermined by the resignation of two ministers in her cabinet.

  • Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, resigned amid the ongoing sexual harassment scandal in Westminster; and
  • International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, resigned over unauthorized meetings in Israel.

AFP alludes to weakness in the UK’s bargaining position given the latest scandals…

To move on to trade talks, the EU is demanding sufficient progress on three key divorce issues, above all the bill Britain must pay to cover its budgetary commitments, a figure which senior European officials put at 60 billion euros ($70 billion). They also want commitments on keeping an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and on guaranteeing the rights of three million European citizens living in Britain. But the British government looks increasingly distracted, with the resignation of its aid minister over meetings in Israel on Wednesday adding to the sense of chaos since May's disastrous showing in elections earlier this year.

…and we suspect that this is what Barnier (with the guiding hand of the odious Jean-Claude Juncker) is hoping to turn to his advantage. Coincidentally, an anonymous EU source was able to provide AFP with some cryptic comments – although it wasn’t hard to see what he/she was getting at.

"We are a bit concerned about what we are seeing in the UK at the moment, we want a strong negotiating partner," an EU diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. "I see a strong willingness to come to a deal. I am confident that everybody understands what has to be done on both sides. The question is, Do they have the strength? And will the moves be made in time by the end of November, first week of December?

Bloomberg appears to have picked up a similar downbeat briefing from EU officials.

Brexit talks resumed Thursday with no indication that a breakthrough is in reach: the Europeans are taking a cautious approach even as both sides hope for an agreement by year-end. European diplomats in Brussels are concerned about the U.K.’s political crisis, and are trying to avoid sending Britain overly encouraging signals about how talks are progressing, according to a person familiar with the situation. Countries including Germany asked negotiators on Wednesday not to rush into preparing documents for trade talks, to avoid creating the impression that negotiations are moving on, the person said…EU diplomats have begun work on two versions of draft summit conclusions for the December gathering -- one for the possibility of a breakthrough and another one for continuing stalemate. The Times reported on Thursday that leaders are also preparing for the possibility of May’s downfall.

It was probably another coincidence that Juncker’s European Commission today cut its forecasts for UK economic growth for 2017-19 on Brexit uncertainty, while raising its forecast for Eurozone growth. From The Guardian.

Newsflash: The European Commission has slashed its forecast for UK growth, warning that Brexit uncertainty will hurt business investment. It now expects Britain’s economy to grow by just 1.5% this year, down from 1.8% previously. The EC also predicts that growth will slow to 1.3% next year, and just 1.1% in 2019…Having slashed the UK’s growth forecasts, the EC has also raised its forecasts for the eurozone. The Commission now believes that eurozone countries will expand by 2.2% this year, up from the 1.7% forecast earlier this year.

As the talks progress, the clock is counting down to next month’s EU summit for the Brexit settlement to be finalized. As AFP’s anonymous source explains, the EU is ready to move the talks forward as long as it likes the “colour” of the UK’s money – otherwise, we suspect, banks and other businesses will go apoplectic about the risk of a “hard Brexit”.

That timescale would allow preparations for a formal decision by EU leaders at a summit on December 14-15 to move on to discussing future ties, a step Britain has been pushing for for months. "Everything is ready (to start trade talks) on the first of January," the EU diplomat said. Failure to do so would probably push back the move to one of the next summits in February or March, leaving only around six months to reach a deal by October 2018, the timeline Barnier has set in order for the withdrawal agreement to be ratified by Brexit day in March 2019. The EU says Britain must provide written guarantees of a pledge to honour the financial commitments that May made in a speech in Florence, Italy, in September. "We don't need speeches, we need commitments," the diplomat said.

There’s nothing like kicking a woman, Theresa May, when she’s down, but what else would you expect from Juncker and his cronies.

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flacorps's picture

The talk should consist of a brief note: "We're no longer following your rules or sending taxes."

The rest will settle out in due course.

silverer's picture

This Brexit thing is more than a mess. The officials that put that deal together in the first place should be brought back to test the gallows.

falak pema's picture

SO where is that pompous Farage when the Brexit needs him. He has left the hot seat to Boris of Bullingdon.

Trying to work for Fox news is not patriotic and Bulldog Drummondish.

anarchitect's picture

Yes, Nigel needs to return.  It would be fun to hear him tell the EU to suck the big one.

JohnGaltUk's picture

Pardon Thomas Mair on the condition that he travel to Brussells and Jo Cox that drunk slime ball Junker and the EU negostiating team just to show us British mean business. LOL

falak pema's picture

I don't know what you've been drinking as u write this, but its awesome by its incoherence.

You sound like Farage or the Duck, when they suck up to the Duck or to the Boss of Peking, respectively.

The ball is bouncing outside their reach.

waspwench's picture

I believe that Farage offerred his services and was rebuffed on more than one occasion.

The government does not want anyone involved who might actually achieve anything positive.

holgerdanske's picture

What is the difference between Juncker and a cat fish?

The one is a slimey bottom feeding mud sucking beast.

The other is a fish.


As for Brexit, just fucking quit. Many ways to leave a lover, only one for an abusive spouse.

44magnum's picture

What is the EU going to do send in the EU army.

Mimir's picture

The due course has allready start. Havn't you noticed ?  

NoWayJose's picture

The EU knows that May is a wimp!

waspwench's picture

The EU knows that may is a Remainer.

kellys_eye's picture

The Brexit position should be put to another referendum - not on the fact of leaving (that's a given) but on the terms of the separation.

If the EU were aware that the British ELECTORATE were known to be the final deciders on the t's and c's of Brexit then BOTH the EU and the UK Government would act.

Another referendum, the question being we either accept the 'agreement' or we leave on WTO rules

Let the PEOPLE decide.

We got the first part right - I'm sure we can do the same for the second part.

smacker's picture

If the terms of separation were put to any sort of binding vote in Westmonster, it would never get through due to the high level of traitors who crawl and slither around the corridors of power.

Same thing could happen if the public at large were asked to vote on it, even many Brexiteers would refuse to support it if the price tag was too high.

What might be useful is a nationwide poll which sought to find out what terms the public are prepared to accept. That would give Theresa May some idea of whether she's up for lynching if she gives too much away.

falak pema's picture

She came charging in like Joan of Arc, she is now looking like the same but this time delivered to her enemies (Juncker) by her own friends, the devious Conservatives; now she faces the pyre of humiliation.

Will she die like Joan, or will she cave in and relent : I never wanted Brexit, But I did want to be PM at 10 Downing !

Some conundrum !

Joan of Arc is now a Brexiter !

Who'dav thought that !

Marine Le Pen of course shouts to all and sundry she would love to be by Saint Theresa's side as Frexiter! 

Doom and Dust's picture

All wrong. You fuckers. LOL

junction's picture

Meanwhile, the banner on the Drudge Report links Senate candidate Roy Moore to 14 year old jail bait.  MAGA.

Thordoom's picture

That picture of May is priceless. She could get a role in Walking dead without any f..king masking.

Doom and Dust's picture

Didn't see that coming did you now Brexshit for brains??

Fuck. You. Robert. Mercer.

hooligan2009's picture

you are right - brexiteers did not see that the sheer scale of incompetence amongst british politicians to even contemplate a 50 billion bill for leaving after having paid 250 billion pounds into the EU since 1973

waspwench's picture

It's not incompetence.   It's treason.

Stan522's picture

What's there to talk through......?

If the EU gives out grief, then in unison, all Brit's should grab their balls with one hand and point their middle fingers southward......

hooligan2009's picture

if 40 billion or more is paid to the EU, the UK government will fall.

the UK has already put a quarter of a trillion pounds into the EU and the only thing it got in return was a massive trade deficit with the EU. the UK is stilll paying a BILLION A MONTH for this shit show of negotaitions.

even the bremoaners would not want to pay an amount of this size.

here's a briefing paper from last year to august 2017 to parlaiment - thee chart of interest is the deterioration in trade since 1999 to its current 80 billion a year (20 billion a quarter - it's the penultimate chart as you scroll down the page


shovelhead's picture

"Give us a gazillion bucks and we'll make you look good. If not..."

cheech_wizard's picture

The U.K. still has nuclear weapons, don't they? 

They should just target the following:

1) Centralbahnplatz 2, 4051 Basel, Switzerland

2) Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175, B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgique/België

So many problems solved by killing it with fire.

OverTheHedge's picture

Today, I am wondering if politicians are as grasping, incompetent and full of overweening self-importance as they have always been, or if this current crop are particularly horrific. Is it just the internet that shows us their corruption, ineptitude and lack of shame? Or has it always been like this? I'm sure when I was younger we had proper politicians, not like these current pikers, but that's what all old people say.

Here are some quality politicians from years gone by:

manasaputrah's picture

For Pete’s sake! Just leave. To hell with Junk-in-his-trunk and Merkel.

RedDwarf's picture

Just do a hard Brexit already and revert back to WTO treaties.  The EU has more interest in proving that Brexit was a bad idea to prevent others from leaving than they do in negotiating in good faith.  It is a waste of time to talk to them.

khnum's picture

Margaret Thatcher would of just said piss off and your not getting one red cent,there will be most likely a second referendum this time they'll make sure they get the result they want.

Ghordius's picture

Maggie? I saw her campaigning... for entry. A *Joiner* Iron Lady

look it up. note the european flags on her bodice, on the photos

smacker's picture

AIUI a 2nd referendum would be automatically invalid because Article 50 has already been invoked and is not reversible except by all EU27 members to change the terms of it which is as likely as snow in the tropics.

falak pema's picture

Maggie was she who initiated the non-dom tax haven scam for every oligarch on earth, who raped the Unions in the name of "Where there is discord I bring you harmony" and then said TINA !

And, I'll nuke Argentina if Mitterrand does not give me the Exocet codes, all the while she sang Pinochet is the salt of the earth.

"Piss off" from her was a sign of noblesse oblige !

Some dame who sang the swan song of Britannica lost in neo-Brexit with "I want my money back"... a Trojan Horse to aid Ronnie hoist the $ hegemony on the EU via City shenanigans

Now its payback !

DisorderlyConduct's picture

Note to Theresa May: if you owe the EU 60 quid it's your problem. If you owe them 60 billion, it's their problem.

Tell them to sod off. They will come crawling back with a better offer.

quasi_verbatim's picture

Oink Oink! I smell the slaughtering of Brexit pigs.

waspwench's picture

Oink!   Oink!   I smell  remainer pigs.

waspwench's picture

It is a complete waste of time attempting to negotiate with Brussells.

Britain has no choice except to walk away.   Brussells has no intention of negotiating anything in good faith and the only purpose of the talks, as far as the EU is concerned, is to complicate and delay our exit while extracting as much money as possible.

Once we have left trade agreements can be negotiated with individual nations and Britain can revert to making and enforcing it's own laws regarding border security.    Any payments which we might feel are fair and reasonable can be made to individual nations.   We should cut Brussells out of any deals.   They are the middle man who takes a slice of the profits but adds nothing.   They can be dispensed with and it will demonstrate to other EU members that Brussells is nothing but an expensive, extra and unnecessary layer of government.


Ghordius's picture

"In EU parlance, it appears that the term for this is the “moment of clarification”, which only makes us despise EU bureaucrats even more. Our suspicion is that, with the UK keen to settle the money issue and move on to trade talks, the EU sees an opportunity to take advantage of political turmoil in the UK, as the talks reaching their most critical stage."

nope, dear EU despiser of EU bureaucrats, it's all 27 countries' goverments that want clarification

checkout at Hotel EU:

Butler: "Madame, did you sign-off your bar and pool drinks and meals"
Mrs Britain: "No"
Butler: "Would you, please? For the bill?"
Mrs B: "No, I won't. My husband thinks your prices are too high"
Butler: "But you had those massages, those services you can't have at home"
Mrs B: "Yes, but my husband wants to negotiate deliveries to your firm first"
Butler: "But we told your husband we won't give any deals/counterdeals to anybody. We are a firm set up as cooperative, either you and your husband are co-op members or standard clients"
Mrs B: "I know, but he insists. And thinks you are rotten, and desperate, and you will strike any deal"
Butler: "And what do you think, Madame?"
Mrs B: "..."

go on, dear author. ride that horse that the evil EU "bureaucracy" wants to know... what kind of Brexit the British Gov wants to have in the first place. and that it is forcing it to spill it's beans

all behind the fig leaf of "we don't know yet, because it depends on what the EU is willing to GIVE"

all 27 governments and their parliaments, elected Ps every and each... were clear. PM May made it clear, by "no SM" and "no CU", i.e. no "Norway" and no "Turkey"

this means a "Canada" at max, with provisions for the strongest disruptions. as they are addressed

that's... it. We are not leaving the UK. The UK is leaving us.

With no plan whatsoever, except for loony bullshit that seems to go under the Brit's radar. nothing of what I wrote ought to be new or strange to anybody following the news in Europe, and thinking a bit about the situation, with a minimum of knowledge about how trade treaties and blocs actually work

fact is that the "money" part is not worrying anybody on the Continent. any stuff the UK does not want to continue paying for... the UK will be terminated from accessing

what is worrying is the Ireland Border Question. and No Answer about this from London, yet. I fear... no plan whatsover, too

smacker's picture

Ghordius: "We [the EU] are a firm set up as cooperative"

Don't you mean ((collectivist))? You know, where everybody is equal except some are more equal than others, like Mutti Merkel.

My best advice to Theresa May is to show Brussels the backside of two fingers and walk away. Save British taxpayers from refilling the corrupt EU coffers. An EU which still has not had its accounts audited. €billions gone astray, not to mention the vast sums in kickbacks to EU-crats from corporate lobbyists who outnumber those in K Street. ((Pay To Play)) EU-style.

Ghordius's picture

do you really believe most EuroMyths?
"An EU which still has not had its accounts audited."
not true. repeatedly debunked. those accounts have been audited since a long while. check for yourself, and see

smacker's picture

I do not believe it's a myth. The Welsh Windbag (aka Neil Kinnock) was sent over to Brussels to sort out the EU accounts but went native and achieved nothing, instead preferring to live the life of Riley with his ugly wife at taxpayers expense.

And I note you omitted comment about the hoards of corporate lobbyists in Brussels.

MaxThrust's picture

"otherwise, we suspect, banks and other businesses will go apoplectic about the risk of a hard Brexit”

Threasa May should simply make a statement in the House of Commons and quote Victoria Nuland.

Now that will get the banks to go Apoplectic.

SerfsUp's picture

Just fucking leave already.  EU commies are not interested in negotiating, only sabotage.