Jean-Claude Juncker has turned to beer to try and unlock the deadlock over Brexit.
The EU chief used a boozy analogy to urge the UK to reach a financial deal with Brussels over how much it should pay when it leaves.
It’s been a key stumbling block so far, according to the EU’s lead negotiator Michael Barnier.
“If you are sitting in a bar, and if you are ordering 28 beers, and then suddenly some of your colleagues is (are) leaving, and he’s (they’re) not paying, that’s not feasible, they have to pay.
“They have to pay. Not in an impossible way, I’m not in a revenge mood. I’m not hating the British.
“The Europeans have to be grateful for so many things Britain has brought to Europe, during war, after war, before war, everywhere and every time. But now, they have to pay.”
Juncker also said Brexit would take longer than initially thought and expressed amazement London and Brussels had not reached a deal on citizens’ rights.
“The first to be impressed by the numerous disadvantages the Brexit — Brexit meaning Brexit — is entailing, are the British. They are discovering, as we are, day after day, new problems. That’s the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought.”
He also revealed how he wound the British up by saying English was slowly disappearing in Europe.
“You know, it’s always dangerous to make jokes about that. I gave a speech in Florence in May and I was saying as English is slowly disappearing from Europe I will express myself in French. The French were happy, the British – I had a shitstorm coming from the other side of the Channel. More reason to reply in French. I think that the European Union’s linguistic regime gives the different languages equality.”
It comes after a draft EU document offered hope to the UK by suggesting internal preparations for future trade negotations should begin