British and EU negotiators have hit a dead-end over money in four days of talks, the European Union's Michel Barnier said on Thursday as he ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start by EU leaders next week. David Pollard reports.
The briefing started upbeat ... But then headed down again. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EUROPEAN UNION BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING: "This week we worked in a constructive spirit, we clarified certain points ... without, however, making any great steps forward." The stumbling block at the end of a fifth round of Brexit talks: cash. Or what negotiators call the financial settlement Britain must pay to leave. Which the EU estimates at perhaps 60 billion euros. Britain has offered to pay 20 billion. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EUROPEAN UNION BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING: "We are at an impasse ..." Barnier ruling out discussions on future trade being allowed to start by EU leaders next week - as had been the goal. While markets begin to rule in the unthinkable. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Marketwise the natural reaction is that the chance of a no deal scenario has increased and so that is the big risk factor here... If we suddenly are transitioning to no deal then obviously that's a very different scenario The UK's chief Brexit negotiator talked of progress - on citizens' rights. In a week where otherwise, the two sides appear to have hardened their stance. European Council President Donald Tusk has hinted London has until December to settle divorce terms and so unlock talks on a transitional deal .... Or the EU will 'reconsider' its objectives. While in Britain, the finance minister warned that time would diminish the value of transitional deal anyway. Its prime minister says there is no impasse. SOUNDBITE (English) UK PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "There has actually been good progress that has been made in these talks." Though she and her ministers appear more and more divided on how to approach Brexit. And less able to deliver what business is demanding of them: clarity.