Peoples Digest Online- Mr Verhofstadt told colleagues he expects the next round of talks to take place in Brussels in the last week of September – seven days later than scheduled – because Mrs May is planning to intervene. He told MEPs: “Possibly the next round of negotiation will be the last week of September, not the third week of September.
“Apparently there will be an important intervention by the British Prime Minister in the coming days, foreseen on September 21, and then it’s a little bit stupid that there is this mixed with the negotiation round.” Downing Street sources said no “firm date or venue” had been set for the Prime Minister’s speech but has indicated the Government wants to “intensify” the negotiations. Number 10 refused to rule out Mrs May making a speech on September 21. A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We are ready to intensify negotiations. “Nothing has been formally agreed but that is something that we can discuss. “Typically, with negotiations, as time goes on you see the pace pick up. “Certainly we wouldn’t rule that out, but nothing has been agreed yet.”
The possible seven-day delay comes after three rounds of plenary talks between the British and the EU delegations in Brussels failed to break the deadlock over the terms of the the eventual withdrawal. A final round of talks has been pencilled in for early October before the 27 remaining member states decide if enough progress has been made on separation issues to allow for trade talks to get under way. Mr Verhofstadt acknowledged some convergence between the two sides on issues related to citizens’ rights the management of Irish border but said there had been virtually no movement on the thorny issue of the divorce bill. He said insufficient progress would mean talks on future trading relationships between Britain and the EU cannot begin.