The European Union and the U.K. are far from reaching an agreement on key issues in Brexit talks, as the second round of negotiations comes to an end.
Both negotiating teams have recognized some progress has been made but there are still "fundamental" differences, including issues on citizens' rights and the Irish border. The EU has called on the U.K., once again, to be more precise about its position on how it wants to exit the world's biggest trading bloc before talks on a future partnership can develop.
"There does remain one fundamental divergence on the way such (citizens') rights would be guaranteed and on several other points, for example the rights' of future family members or the export of certain social benefits," Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, told reporters in Brussels.
"Therefore, at the next negotiating session we must clarify the reasons for those divergences while constantly remembering our common objective that those citizens might continue to live as they do today," he added.
Without an agreement on citizens' rights, how much the U.K. will have to pay to close its accounts with Brussels and on the stability of the Irish border, the U.K. cannot establish its future cooperation with the EU.