Deal on divorce bill vital for next future ties talks – EU's Barnier

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Progress in negotiations on how much money Britain will owe the European Union when it leaves the bloc in March 2019 is vital if EU leaders are to allow discussions on future trade ties with Britain in December, the EU’s chief negotiator said on Friday.

European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier holds a joint news conference with Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis after the latest round of talks in Brussels, Belgium October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“It is absolutely vital if we are to achieve sufficient progress in December,” Barnier told a joint news conference with Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis after a round of talks.

“It is just a matter of settling accounts, as in any separation,” Barnier said, adding the progress in talks about money would have to be achieved by early December for it to be part of the Dec 14-15 EU leaders’ summit.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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