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European Union

France, Holland warn UK over Brexit stalling

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at Thursday's press conference
French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at Thursday's press conference Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the United Kingdom to get a move on in negotiations over Brexit, which are dragging out over the bill Britain will pay for leaving the European Union.

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After Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier swapped barbs at a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, Macron and Rutte expressed impatience with the UK's attitude after meeting in Paris.

"Only when sufficient progress has been acknowledged by M Barnier will it will be possible to move on to the next steps," Macron said. "We are very vigilant in defending the European Union's interests in this context."

"We are worried about the pace of the negotiations," Rutte added, pointing out that "the clock is ticking".

The UK is supposed to definitively leave the EU at midnight on 29 March 2019.

"We can't talk about the future as long as we haven't made enough progress," Rutte commented. "During October's European Council we will determine whether there has been any progress but for the moment, unfortunately, that is not the case."

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