After months of deadlock, European officials say they hope May will finally bring a new proposal on Britain's exit bill after senior British ministers agreed earlier this week to improve the offer to a reported 40 billion euros.
The EU's chief negotiator has been accused of "backtracking" over threats to block trade talks unless the United Kingdom put forward its divorce bill offer by today (24 November).
When it comes to law enforcement and counter-terrorism, both the United Kingdom and the European Union have a clear incentive to continue to cooperate.
Barnier said he expected the United Kingdom as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday agreement to come up with proposals to avoid a hard border, remarks that underline the fact he does not see the British government's calls for "imaginative" technological solutions as serious.
The EU-27, which has so far strongly supported Ireland's positions, will want to see a proposal from the United Kingdom on how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and how to make sure that regulations in Northern Ireland stay in line with the bloc's rules.
"We are not faced with huge new investment decisions".
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The Irish will be particularly pleased that Mr Barnier has on Monday framed the argument in terms of the challenges that regulatory divergence make for the whole idea of a frictionless border.
John Bruton, a former Irish prime minister, urged the United Kingdom to stay in the customs union, while lambasting the British political class for not taking the issue seriously during the referendum. Mr Barnier will this afternoon brief ministers on those talks.
The UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, and served the European Union with formal notice of Brexit in March 2017. There is some expectation, however, that the United Kingdom may this week raise its offer on the financial settlement t some €40 billion. With the December 13th summit looming, that leaves precious little time for any "substantial progress" prospects.