EU leaders met for a brief summit. The goal, among other agenda items, was to debate the Brexit. The remaining Member States (EU27) voted unanimously against moving into phase 2 of negotiations. The decision was postponed until December. This next step means actually advancing future trade arrangements.
The bottlenecks to move things forward were the lack of payments by the UK and the Irish question. According to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Prime Minister Theresa May would be open to paying more than 20 million euros as an exit fee. But so far no funds have moved across the channel.
With regards to Ireland decision makers, Ireland is in a quagmire, especially because it didn’t create the situation. The Irish believe that some flexibility might be set in place for them when British customs are reestablished. A feeling that is shared by many Member States.
The clock is ticking as the UK prepares to leave the bloc by the end of March 2019. European leaders expressed their hopes to speed up talks, however, they seem to understand that stakes are high and that baby steps might be the way to go for the time being.