Yesterday, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said he would not recommend that Brexit talks move on to the second phase because the United Kingdom and the European bloc remain in a "disturbing" state of deadlock.
But a leaked document seen by reporters in Brussels suggested that EU leaders meeting at the European Council summit next week could authorise "internal preparatory discussions" on the shape of a future trade relationship and a transition deal, in a move which could offer Prime Minister Theresa May hope for talks by the end of the year.
Mr Juncker said: "The British are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems. That's why this process will take longer than initially thought", Juncker said in a speech at a university in his native Luxembourg.
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Juncker's comments came a day after the chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said the Brexit negotiations had reached a "disturbing deadlock" over the financial commitments.
The Luxembourgish politician also said the United Kingdom will have to pay if they want to move on to the second stage of Brexit negotiations.
"If you are sitting in a bar and if you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues is leaving. that's not feasible, they have to pay, they have to pay", Juncker said.
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"I am not hating the British".
Negotiations so far have been slower than expected, with hopes that the United Kingdom would reach a key milestone by a European Council meeting next week now evaporated.
The EU is refusing to fully engage in those negotiations until it judges that "sufficient progress" has been made in the three issues of the co-called Brexit bill, Ireland and citizens' rights. The next possible point "sufficient progress" could be judged is in December, when the next European Council meeting is set to take place.
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