U.K. Needs ‘Miracles’ for October Trade Talks, EU’s Juncker Says

  • Brexit ‘sufficient progress’ won’t happen by summit, he says
  • Fourth round of negotiations failed to deliver breakthrough

EU's Barnier Sees `New Dynamic' in Brexit Talks

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the U.K. has no chance of moving Brexit talks onto future trade relations in October.

The U.K. had hoped that a Brussels summit on Oct. 19-20 would see European Union leaders deem “sufficient progress” on Brexit separation issues had been made to allow the start of discussions about the future. However, the slowness of the negotiations means that’s now almost certainly not going to happen.

Juncker in Tallinn, Sept. 29.

Photographer: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

“By the end of October we will not have sufficient progress,” Juncker told reporters on Friday on the way into a summit in Tallinn, Estonia. “There will be no sufficient progress between now and October unless miracles happen.”

A fourth round of talks in Brussels between the U.K. and EU concluded on Thursday and, while more positive in tone, failed to deliver the breakthrough that’s needed to start on the trade deal. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said Britain still had to set out what it thinks it owes the bloc when it leaves, and there’s no agreement on the role of the European Court of Justice.

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