Michel Barnier (Chief Brexit Negotiator for the EU) says a lack of clarity from Britain means autumn trade talks are unlikely to take place. Brexit negotiations seem to be faltering, and Barnier has told ambassadors to the EU that the British government has been unable to provide sufficient clarity on many key issues during the last week of talks.

The European Council is due to report at the end of October on whether enough progress has been made in negotiations on the issues of citizens rights, the Irish border, and the UK divorce bill for the talks to widen to include the UK/EU relationship. Barnier has said that information on the UK’s position on the divorce bill is ‘indispensable’. It has been suggested that the bill could be as expensive as £75 billion, to which Boris Johnson has said that Brussels could ‘go whistle’.

Earlier this week, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, publicly warned the British that there needed to be progress in all three key areas if talks were to widen. “If we want negotiations to succeed within the limited time we have, progress on more detailed content will have to be made sooner rather than later,” said Verhofstadt.