BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union warned on Monday that Britain went out to seal a Brexit deal this fall and make sure London did not crash out of the block next March and put pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.
But the maiden spokesman said that "the focus is on getting this right" rather than meet a deadline.
Diplomats and Brussels officials note minor progress in the Brexit negotiations since the EU leaders last met, doubting whether the block and London could mark another milestone at the next summit on 28-29 June.
"We are concerned that there is no clear stance, no clear position from the British. The clock tickes," German EU Minister Michael Roth told his EU meeting in Brussels.
"We now need to make significant progress, but it does not happen. What particularly worries us is Northern Ireland's question where we expect significant accommodation from the British side."
Home is May between a rock and a hard place with strong Brexit supporters pushing to break ties with the EU and other advocates to keep close cooperation with the block to reduce friction in future trade.
Ma's spokesman said that London worked with two options for customs cooperation after Brexit.
During a customs partnership, Britain could collect tariffs on goods entering the country on behalf of the EU. Under a second idea, traders on an approved list could freely cross the limits using automated technology for a streamlined customs arrangement.
But the EU has said that London has to come up with a solution to the Irish border area and highlights that have not happened. Both sides worry about restoring a physical border between EU members Ireland and Britain's province Northern Ireland – including dealing with customs – could revive violence there.
Other outstanding issues include guarantees for foreign rights, security cooperation agreements and trade rules according to Brexit, to ensure that an agreement is in place when UK leaves in March 2019 and an adjustment period ending in 2020.
"From that European side, we can say that we have clarified our position and we hope that the British government will also conclude negotiations in a complete way, "said Austria's Gernot Blumel, who echoes a far-reaching EU complaint that Britain has not done. Its position is clear. in detail on parts of the negotiations.
With the May Cabinet, her ruling conservative party and the British split up on the issue, which has proved difficult to achieve, and the prime minister has been under pressure at home in recent weeks to decide on customs.
Brexit Schematic Stramas, said sources, which helps the EU negotiating strategy to raise pressure on London before the June summit, but mainly due to the lack of significant progress in the talks.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said it was too early to discuss an extension of the timeline, but added: "The goal is now to terminate an agreement in the agreed timetable … I really hope we will agree but there is unfortunately no warranties. "
Further reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Liz Piper in London, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing Matthew Mpoke Bigg