November 23, 2017 / 11:46 AM / 19 days ago

EU's Juncker says will see in 'next few days' if Brexit talks can enter second phase

BERN (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that it would be seen in the next few days whether Brexit talks with Britain had made enough progress to enter a second phase of negotiations.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a news conference in Bern, Switzerland November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

“We are in intense negotiation with the UK to end the first phase of the talks about topics such as citizen rights, the ‘Ireland problem’, the bill that will have to be paid,” Juncker told a news conference during an official visit to Switzerland.

“The worst is behind us, but there has not been sufficient progress for me to say that we can enter the second phase of the talks about our relationship in the future. We’ll see that within the next few days,” he said.

Asked about a report the UK could pay 45 billion pounds for its Brexit divorce, he said: “I‘m not crazy enough to give an immediate answer to the question.”

Reporting by Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Toby Chopra

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