European Union gives United Kingdom 2 weeks to make concessions on Brexit talks

EU gives Britain two weeks to make Brexit concessions or trade talks could collapse

UK will not be able to discuss trade this year if no concessions are made in next two weeks, warns Michel Barnier

Despite Britain voting to leave the European Union in June 2016, little progress has been made in negotiations, with Brussels refusing to move onto trade until issues such as the Irish border, citizens' rights and the divorce settlement are finalised.

The U.K. government has two weeks to make concessions in its Brexit negotiations if it wants to pass on to trade talks this year, according to the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Friday.

Britain desperately wants to move the talks onto the issue of future relations.

But according to Politico, Germany and France are preparing two sets of draft conclusions with the most likely demanding no automatic continuation of Brexit talks to phase two unless "sufficient progress" is made.

The biggest stumbling bloc remains money.

David Davis insisted again today that there is a need for "creativity and sensitivity" on both sides to solve the issue of the Northern Ireland border - but the European Union have said much more work needs to be done before we can move onto talking trade.

Barnier said it was "imperative" to turn into concrete commitments May's promise that Britain will pay its financial dues before leaving the European Union in March 2019.

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"But that can not come at a cost to the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom", David Davis, the Brexit secretary who also spoke at the press briefing, said.

In Berlin, Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that "it is indeed in Great Britain's hands to create the conditions that would make it possible" to move to the next phase of trade relations. British voters, and lawmakers, remain divided over Brexit.

"But let me be clear, this can not amount to creating a new border inside the United Kingdom", he said.

May faces another test when a key piece of Brexit legislation, the EU Withdrawal Bill, returns to the House of Commons next week.

Trying to regain a grip on the Brexit process, May warned pro-EU legislators they must not try to slow or stop the country's departure.

Britain insists it will leave the single market and customs union in 2019, creating a puzzle about how to keep the open border that has helped underpin Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace agreement.

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