Juncker calls Brexit talks on citizens' rights 'nonsense'

Juncker calls Brexit talks on citizens' rights 'nonsense'

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he does not back Catalonian independence, fearing others may follow in its footsteps.

"If we allow Catalonia to separate - and it is not our job - others will do the same, I do not want that", Juncker said in a speech at the University of Luxembourg. "That is the reason why this process will take longer than we initially thought", Juncker said, speaking to a group of students in Luxembourg.

He said: "We can not find, for the time being, a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the United Kingdom are concerned".

President Jean-Claude Juncker said the United Kingdom would have to pay the so-called Brexit divorce bill, which according to estimates, could reach up to 100 billion British pounds ($132 billion) - before they could move negotiations to the next phase.

Juncker said on Friday that while European citizens would always grateful for Britain's influence and impact on the continent, "now they [Britain] need to pay".

"Not in an impossible way, I am not in a revenge mood, I am not hitting the British". I'm not hating the British.

The EU is refusing to fully engage in those negotiations until it judges that "sufficient progress" has been made in the three issues of the co-called Brexit bill, Ireland and citizens' rights. Why not say easily, with common sense, that things will stay as they are?

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels next week are expected to say that there is not likely to be enough progress until the next summit in December, but that the bloc should begin internal preparations for trade talks now. And although the European Union owed a lot to the United Kingdom, "now they have to pay", he said. "But now they have to pay".

"If you are sitting in a bar and ordering 28 beers and then suddenly one of your colleagues is leaving and is not paying, that is not feasible".

"The European "foreigners", as they are saying in London, are there on the island and so many British friends are here". Everywhere and every time. So let them [stay] here and let them [stay] there.

On Thursday, Barnier and the U.K.'s lead negotiator, David Davis, said there had been progress on the issue of citizens' rights.

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