Boris Johnson says European Union should show Brexit urgency

Theresa May

The pound had tumbled as low as $1.3122 on Thursday after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters that talks around Britain's divorce payment had hit an "impasse".

Speaking to Sky News, she said: "Not everyone was really believing that we were going to make sufficient progress by October".

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that very little progress had been made.

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Former chancellor Lord Lawson accused Mr Hammond of undermining Brexit negotiations, claiming that his refusal to release money now for preparations for a no-deal Brexit was "very close to sabotage".

But Johnson said Britain had "set out what we think are some pretty convincing ideas" on issues including the rights of citizens affected by Brexit and the financial settlement the United Kingdom must make in order to leave.

He added: "There is a new momentum and I remain convinced today that with political will, decisive progress is within our grasp in the next two months".

Davis announced a "streamlined" new system for the 3 million European Union citizens in Britain to claim residence rights, answering European Union concerns, and said he expected good further progress on other issues.

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Johnson said it's time to "get on with it to the next phase".

European Union officials accuse Britain of dragging its heels. We clarified certain points.

Mr Barnier was given a mandate by the 27 heads of state and government to helm the Brexit talks on their behalf but it restricts him from discussing the future relationship until the European Union judges that "sufficient progress" has been made on the issues of the so-called Brexit bill, citizens' rights and Ireland.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said he made "not secret of the fact that to provide certainty, we must talk about the future".

Michel Barnier said Thursday after the fifth round of talks in Brussels that despite the "constructive spirit" shown, "we haven't made any great steps forward".

Diplomats have said that German and French envoys quashed a suggestion by Barnier last week that he start looking transition issues.

Officials see the early part of next year as a virtual deadline for agreeing to move on to discuss the future relationship.

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