Firstly, it is necessary to agree on major issues of British exit, and negotiations on a trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union can only commence after that, said Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
“It must be clear that we will not have any sort of reconciliation on future relations before all the issues of exclusion are settled,” Juncker said in his speech at the EU Ambassadors’ annual Brussels meeting.
“We can not mix things together. First, we need to sort out the issues of the past, and we can only deal with the future,” he emphasized.
He added that he carefully read the documents of the London Cabinet’s position, but did not find any of them as “satisfactory”, so there are still a lot of questions waiting to be solved.
The third round of the Brexit negotiations began on Monday in Brussels, but most experts believe that this time there is no breakthrough in key issues such as the remaining UK financial obligations or the rights of citizens.
The leaders of the “twenties” remaining after the British withdrawal decide in October whether negotiations are proceeding at an appropriate pace in order to begin trade negotiations, but more and more people in Brussels have doubts that they will be able to move on.
Jean-Claude Juncker also talked about the situation in Turkey at the conference and stated that the country is moving “with great steps” from Europe.
The head of the EU executive body in Brussels has voiced the suspicion that Turkey’s head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes Europe will interrupt the EU accession negotiations and thus blame the EU for failure.
However, the European Union must not enter the trap, the responsibility lies entirely with the Turkish side, he said.
A council of representatives of the governments of EU Member States decided last December that the EU will not open new accession chapters with Ankara because of the measures introduced following the coup attempt in Turkey.
Since 2005, accession negotiations with Turkey have started with effective accession negotiations in 2005 but only 16 of the 35 chapters to be discussed have since been opened, and only one of them has been closed.