November 17, 2017 / 3:16 PM / a year ago

Brexit progress needed by early Dec. to unlock talks - EU's Tusk

European Council President Donald Tusk attends a debate on the outcome of the last European summit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters) - European Council President Donald Tusk said he told British Prime Minister Theresa May that the European Union wants progress on Irish border and financial issues by early December to move Brexit talks forward.

The EU summit chair told reporters after meeting May in Sweden: “While good progress on citizens has been made, we need to see much more progress on Ireland and on the financial settlement. In order to avoid any ambiguity about our work calendar, I made it very clear to Prime Minister May that this progress needs to happen at the beginning of December at the latest.”

Tusk will chair another EU summit on Dec. 14-15 which could give a green light to launching negotiations on a future trade deal with London. But EU officials say that they need a couple of weeks to prepare such a summit decision once London meets their conditions.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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