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EU needs clarity from UK over brexit positions: Juncker

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Mr Juncker repeated comments that it’s too early to move onto trade talks because there hasn’t been sufficient progress on separation issues.

THE European Union (EU) still needs more details about the UK's positions on Brexit before discussions can begin on a future trading relationship, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"We cannot talk about the future without any real clarity," Mr Juncker said in a hearing on Tuesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

"The prime minister's speech in Florence was conciliatory but speeches are not negotiation positions."

Mr Juncker repeated comments that it's too early to move onto trade talks because there hasn't been sufficient progress on separation issues, such as citizens' rights and the UK's financial settlement. Negotiations moved forward last week after Prime Minister Theresa May's speech in Florence, Italy, but officials said a breakthrough was some way off.

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EU lawmakers are due to vote on a resolution stating that leaders of the bloc's remaining 27 countries shouldn't approve trade talks when they meet this month. While the Parliament doesn't have a formal say in that, it does have a veto over the entire Brexit deal at the end of the process, meaning that it can't be ignored.

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