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Brexit talks end with disagreement on money, rights and Ireland

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The second round of Brexit talks finished with disagreements about the role of the European Court of Justice, the divorce bill that Britain will pay the European Union, and maintaining Ireland's soft border.

[BRUSSELS] The second round of Brexit talks finished with disagreements about the role of the European Court of Justice, the divorce bill that Britain will pay the European Union, and maintaining Ireland's soft border.

"The first round was about organisation, the second round about presentation, the third round must be about clarification," the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

Four days of talks in the Belgian capital have focused on the UK's financial obligations, the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British nationals living in the EU and how to maintain the current border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The clock is ticking until Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019, but the UK cannot begin talks on the free-trade agreement it wants with the EU after Brexit until "sufficient progress" has been made on the issues discussed this week.

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Both sides want to move to the next stage and open those trade talks when EU leaders hold a summit in Brussels in October. If no deal is reached, Britain will crash out of the EU with no preferential access to the single market, meaning that tariffs will be imposed as with any third country.

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis put a positive spin on the week in the joint press conference.

"I'm encouraged with the progress we've made in understanding each other's positions," he said.

BLOOMBERG

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